KU basketball player Arterio Morris formally charged with rape, dismissed from team

photo by: Chance Parker

Kansas' Arterio Morris dribbles the ball during the Bill Self Basketball Camp scrimmage on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at Allen Fieldhouse.

A Kansas basketball player has been formally charged with rape in connection with an incident at McCarthy Hall this summer.

The previously suspended player, Arterio Demetrius Morris, 20, of DeSoto, Texas, is charged in Douglas County District Court with one felony count of rape, according to charging documents. The charge relates to an incident on Aug. 26 and involves an 18-year-old woman.

Morris was arrested around 7:15 a.m. Friday on a warrant and was released on a $75,000 surety bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 18, according to the jail booking log.

In a statement to the Journal-World Friday morning, KU head coach Bill Self said Morris had been dismissed from the team.

“When we learned of allegations regarding Arterio Morris, he was suspended from the Kansas men’s basketball program,” Self said in the statement. “We are now aware he has been arrested and charged, and he was dismissed from the program. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further at this time.”

Prior to the filing of formal charges, Morris’ attorney, Justin Moore, who represented Morris in Denton County, Texas, on a misdemeanor assault case, told the Journal-World that he was not representing Morris in Kansas legal matters. He said Morris had retained Lawrence lawyer Hatem Chahine.

Chahine has previously represented a variety of KU athletes in criminal cases, including basketball players Carlton Bragg, Silvio De Sousa, Josh Jackson and Jalen Wilson and football player Pooka Williams, as the Journal-World reported.

Reached prior to the filing of charges, Chahine declined to confirm he had been retained or comment on any pending criminal cases.

The Journal-World has reached out to Chahine and to Morris’ agency Family First Sports Firm for further comment. ESPN reported Friday that Morris’ agent Chris Gaston had told ESPN earlier in September Morris would speak “when the time is right.”

Morris’ initial suspension began on Sept. 15. The suspension prevented Morris from participating in basketball activities but he continued to attend classes.

Morris, who transferred to KU from Texas following his freshman year, recently pleaded no contest in the Texas misdemeanor assault case. He had been charged with a Class A misdemeanor assault several months after a June 2022 altercation with an ex-girlfriend; he pleaded it down to a less severe Class C misdemeanor on Sept. 14, requiring only the payment of a $362 fine. That case was completed one day before KU suspended him from the program.

The original Class A charge was considered assault causing bodily injury to a family member, which in Texas includes dating relationships. In the resolution of Morris’ case, obtained by the Journal-World, the state abandoned its finding of family violence.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the statement on Morris’ dismissal comes from head coach Bill Self.


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