HOUSTON (CN) - A woman sued her former boss at Edible Software, claiming he drugged and sexually assaulted her on a business trip - more bad news for a onetime CEO who pleaded guilty to such assaults on five employees.
A.F. sued Software Edible Solutions Inc. dba Edible Software and its former CEO Henri Morris, in Harris County Court.
A.F. claims that Morris took her on a business trip to New York in May 2011.
"During the business trip, defendant Morris drugged (A.F.) by putting an unknown substance into a drink, unbeknownst to (her)," the complaint states. "During this time, Morris attempted to sexually assault (A.F.) and took pictures of her while she was unconscious."
A.F. says she knew nothing about the photos until she saw them in March 2012.
Morris pleaded guilty to spiking the drinks of several female employees during business trips, and engaging in unwanted sexual contact with them while they were unconscious, federal prosecutors said in a statement announcing his plea.
"According to the plea agreement, five women relayed similar experiences of being in compromising situations with Morris after he provided each woman with a drugged alcoholic beverage he had prepared," prosecutors said in the Nov. 1 statement. "Each woman reported instances of memory loss that followed the encounter consistent with being administered drugs commonly used in drug-facilitated sexual assault.
"The women also reported unwanted contact with Morris and, due to their impairment, were unable to defend themselves against him. One woman described how she knew what was happening, but had lost physical control of her body and could not stop Morris from even undressing her," the U.S. Attorney's Office said. According to court records, one woman diluted the drink Morris gave her with soda, but felt intoxicated after drinking some of it.
"She later awoke in her hotel room and heard a 'click,'" the U.S. attorney said. "At that time, she saw Morris standing over her naked body and taking pictures with his cell phone. She also had scratches on each of her hips and bruises on her arm. During a later conversation with the woman, Morris admitted he was 'lonely.'"
Tipped off that Morris was headed for another business trip with a female employee, FBI agents executed a search warrant on him at Bush Intercontinental Airport. In Morris' luggage they found erectile dysfunction drugs and benzodiazipam, which causes physical impairment and memory loss when mixed with alcohol, prosecutors said.
Morris, 67, a native of South Africa, pleaded guilty to five counts of transportation. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Under a plea deal, Morris agreed to serve one year and a day in federal prison, spend the rest of his life on probation and register as a sex offender.
Under the plea deal, however, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon has "authority to impose any sentence up to and including the statutory maximum set for the offense(s)" at his Feb. 7, 2014 sentencing.
Morris is out on bond.
Two other workers sued
Morris in Harris County Court in November 2012, alleging he drugged and sexually assaulted them during business trips.
They and A.F. are all represented by Jeffrey Todd with The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd, of Friendswood.