DANVILLE — A bench warrant has been issued for a former Limestone Township resident facing trial on rape and related charges next week in Montour County Court. His attorney received a letter stating the accused was hospitalized.
Hugh Taylor, attorney for Daniel D. Morris, 43, who now lives in New Jersey, told Judge Gary Norton Monday, during a pretrial conference, he received an email from Morris's girlfriend saying he was hospitalized due to a medical incident. Taylor responded by asking if he was well enough to sign a release of documents from the hospital. He told Norton he was awaiting a response.
Taylor said no hospital, no condition and no method of admittance were included in the email.
Jury selection was set for Tuesday and the trial was set for Thursday.
Montour County District Attorney Angela Mattis requested a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest, which would be reconsidered if evidence was provided he was hospitalized.
Norton said this was inconvenient to the 125 county residents called for jury duty who would have to be notified that jury selection was canceled.
During a previous court session, Mattis told Norton that Morris has had serious health issues.
At his preliminary hearing in September 2016, the alleged victim, a girl then 13, testified Morris, 40 at the time, removed her clothes and his clothes and had sex with her without saying a word.
The girl, who is not being identified because of the nature of the charges and because she is a juvenile, said it was the first time she had sex with anyone.
Morris remains free on $25,000 unsecured bail. He faces charges of rape, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault and indecent assault.