Editor’s note: This story includes details that some people may find upsetting. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual or domestic assault, contact the police or The Tompkins County Advocacy Center here.
TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — A 21-year-old Dryden man has been sentenced to five years of incarceration and 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old and sending indecent materials to girls ranging in age from 12 to 16.
Dale E. Morrissette was arrested by Dryden Police on March 27, 2019, following a joint investigation with New York State Police. He faced eight criminal counts in Tompkins County Court, including second-degree rape, a class D violent felony, first-degree disseminating indecent material to minors, a class D felony, and forcible touching, a misdemeanor.
Morrisette pleaded guilty in May to one count of second-degree rape, admitting he had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl on Nov. 17, 2018, when he was 20 years old.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of first degree disseminating indecent material to minors, meaning he admitted to knowingly sending a communication to a minor that “depicts or describes, either in words or images actual or simulated nudity, sexual conduct or sado-masochistic abuse… (which) importunes, invites or induces a minor to engage in sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct, or sexual contact with him, or to engage in a sexual performance, obscene sexual performance, or sexual conduct for his benefit.”
Morrisette was accused of sending such communications to four girls ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old. Court records state that he sent photographs of his genitals as well as videos of himself masturbating to multiple victims. Documents further state he asked multiple victims to send nude photographs and to have sex with him. According to records, he threatened to inflict self-harm or to engage in violence if they did not comply.
The maximum sentence for second-degree rape is seven years in prison, and for first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, it is three-and-a-half to seven years.
Following the recommendation of Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama, Judge John Rowley handed down a sentence of five years incarceration and 10 years of post-release supervision and issued an order of protection.