Wife charged with harboring, concealing sex offender husband

Published 9:47 am Friday, November 30, 2012

ALBERT LEA — The wife of a convicted sex offender was charged Thursday in Freeborn County District Court with reportedly harboring and concealing her husband from authorities.

Veronica Mirela Morrow, 31, was arrested Tuesday night after fleeing Albert Lea in August. She faces one felony count of aiding an offender to avoid arrest.

Her husband, Randy Lee Morrow, a two-time convicted sex offender, was arrested in August and charged with first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting a girl younger than 10. He also faces a predatory offender registration violation for allegedly not registering as an offender since 2008 and for using the name Robert Morrow.

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Court documents allege Veronica Morrow attempted to hide both her and her husband’s identity and ownership of property, vehicles and an Internet business in Albert Lea. She reportedly used aliases, including the names Veronica Moise and Mirela Moise, to purchase two homes, one at 620 Water St. in 2005 and another at 621 E. Eighth St. in 2006.

Neighbors told police the couple lived at the Water Street house before moving to the Eighth Street one and said they operated an Internet business, according to court records.

In telephone conversations from the Freeborn County jail in August, Randy Morrow told his wife to remove a computer and other documents from their home and take their children and flee, according to court documents.

Police believe Veronica Morrow sold their vehicles and left Albert Lea days later.

Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said the U.S. Attorney’s office contacted his office about Randy Morrow, but he didn’t know if federal charges will be filed.

Court records allege Randy Morrow abused the girl not only in Albert Lea but on trips to Florida and Tennessee, and Nelson speculated that federal officials may be involved because Morrow allegedly crossed state lines when committing the crimes.

Randy Morrow was previously convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1991 when he assaulted a young girl. He was convicted in 1996 of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth-degree of a teenage boy.

Before Randy Morrow’s arrest in Albert Lea, police did not know he was there because he had not registered, but they followed through on a report of inappropriate touching at the city pool.

He is classified as a Level 2 predatory offender.

Randy Morrow’s next court appearance is Dec. 18. He remains in jail on a $750,000 bail.

Veronica Morrow will appear Dec. 10 and is being held in the Freeborn County jail on unconditional bail of $200,000.

Authorities said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has a hold on Veronica Morrow because she is reportedly in the country illegally.