James Hughes Morriss
Photo: Athens Banner-Herald
Photo: Athens Banner-Herald

Former Gwinnett youth umpire to serve nearly 4 years in child sex case

A former youth umpire from Gwinnett County will serve 46 months in federal prison for attempting to have sex with a child, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Middle Georgia said Thursday. 

James Hughes Morriss, 50, of Dacula, pleaded guilty in November to one count of use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor, according to U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. After serving his prison sentence, Morriss must register as a sex offender and cannot be alone with children, Peeler said. His internet use will also be monitored by the court. 

>> RELATED: Youth softball umpire from Gwinnett pleads guilty in child sex case

“Law enforcement in Georgia is aggressively working to find and arrest adults preying on children, and our office will vigorously prosecute perpetrators to the maximum extent of the law,” Peeler said in an emailed statement. “As a softball umpire, this individual intentionally positioned himself to be around youth.”

Morriss was arrested in late July after traveling to Athens to have sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, the Department of Justice previously said. Morriss had actually been communicating with an undercover officer. 

His arrest was part of  a three-day sting operation by the FBI, GBI and Athens police to catch adult predators looking to have sex with children they met online, authorities said. He previously worked as an umpire at Bogan Park. 

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