Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Professor who helped youths in foster care systems charged with rape and sexual child abuse

Dwain Pellebon, 54, arrested for rape and lewd acts
Denies charges but admitted being 'affectionate and sensual'
Admitted watching child porn

By Rachel Quigley

A social work professor accused of rape and performing other lewd acts on teenage girls has been formally charged.

Dwain Pellebon, 54, of the University of Oklahoma, was arraigned on two counts of rape, two counts of lewd acts with a child and two counts of sexual child abuse.

The professor was arrested last week after authorities received allegations from a child welfare worker he had sexually abused two teenage girls in the past two years. He denies all the allegations.

A state Department of Human Services worker told Norman police that a 13-year-old reported seeing Pellebon fondle another 13-year-old during a sleepover at the suspect's Norman home, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The girl was interviewed by police last week, according to NewsOk, and told them she woke up in his home on at least two occasions with Pellebon lying beside her touching her 'from her hair to her ankles'.

The alleged abuse started when she was 11.

The social worker also said Pellebon sexually abused a mentally disabled 15-year-old at least twice.

The girl also told police the suspect would remove her from bed, take her clothes off and 'display her on a bed for viewing'.

Court documents also revealed the girl said Pellebon kept track of her menstrual cycle and showed her 'parts of the body you weren't supposed to see'.

The social work professor admitted taking off the girl's clothes but said he did it to apply cream to her 'chest, back and butt' while they were alone in his bedroom.

NewsOk reported that though Pellebon denies any sexual contact, he described himself to investigators as an 'affectionate, sensual man who liked to hug, kiss, cuddle and stroke young girls that he felt close to'.

He also told police that he had viewed child pornography once but did not download it.

In 2001, Pellebon was investigated by DHS under similar circumstances but no charges were filed because the alleged victim — the daughter of a former Norman police officer — failed to give investigators a statement, documents show.

He has been placed on administrative leave without pay and is free on $75,000 bail.
The 54-year-old was a director on a local board for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which helps children in juvenile court and foster systems.

He took a leave of absence from the board earlier this year, a Cleveland County CASA spokesman told The Oklahoman.

Pellebon teaches a course on human sexuality that looks at ‘sexual behaviour, gender differences and sexual values’, reported CNN.

After he was arrested a university spokesman said they 'acted swiftly to suspend Pellebon from any contact with students and from use of any university facilities'.


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