A man convicted of raping a young woman in Bicentennial Mall has been sentenced to serve 23 years in prison. Ricky Lee Morgan, who was homeless, pleaded guilty in May to the aggravated rape of a then 22-year-old woman that occurred in September 2007. There was no security in the park about midnight when she cut through the park to get home. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn ordered Morgan to serve the sentence at 100 percent.The 2007 rape prompted concerns citizens here to convince the Bredesen administration to put emergency call boxes in the state park, but not without a lot of resistance and foot-dragging on the part of government officials.
Ever since then, the state has been trying to spin its response to complaints about park security up as "quick," and a crime report on this conviction recently sent out on the Germantown e-mail list has State Senator Thelma Harper blaming Metro Police for the lack of call boxes in the state park:
According to Senator Thelma Harper, emergency call boxes were installed at the Bicentennial Mall when it was first constructed, but the phones were removed at Metro's request because of 911 abuse and prank calls. Following this rape, the emergency call boxes were reinstalled.It also did not help that Senator Harper failed to follow through with communication and with promised results for months.