A man who claims that he was molested by Bigfoot as a child was ordered to serve 20 years in prison yesterday for his own molestation-related activities.
Gene R. Morrill, 57, of New Ipswich, N.H., had previously pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to 20 charges stemming from his efforts to solicit 13-year-old boys over the Internet.
Defense attorney Terrence Patton cited Morrill's mental health issues in seeking leniency from Judge J. Howe Brown.
Morrill told an investigator preparing his pre-sentence report about being sexually assaulted by the legendary Bigfoot, a North American folklore character said to be between 7 and 10 feet tall, and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. Patton said Morrill really believes the assaulted happened.
However, Morrill was determined to be mentally competent to stand trial. The judge also couldn't have been impressed with Morrill's criminal record, which includes a rape conviction involving a child in New Hampshire.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Jim Peterson, Morrill was one of several out-of-state online predators identified last year by Detectives Darryl Wells and John Chapman.
The detectives made Internet contact with Morrill and others while pretending to be young boys.
Chapman introduced another suspected predator to Wells, his "13-year-old friend," and both detectives received pictures and movies of boys having sex with other children and adults.
The real boys were between 5 and 12 years old. The other predator brought Morrill into the conversations and Peterson presented pages of online discussions in which Morrill expresses his desire for sex acts with young boys.
Morrill was convicted of five counts of attempting to take indecent liberties with a child, five counts of using electronic equipment to solicit a juvenile and 10 counts of reproducing child pornography.
Morrill is still facing similar charges in Prince William County.