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Former OU professor found not guilty of sex crimes against girls

Two weeks after his child sex abuse trial began in Cleveland County District Court, former University of Oklahoma professor Dwain Pellebon was found not guilty by a jury of eight men and four women.
by Andrew Knittle and Nolan Clay Modified: November 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm •  Published: November 1, 2013
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Several charges filed

Defense attorneys painted Pellebon as a man who loved children and took the time to spend time with them when other adults would not.

Attorney David Smith, who has represented Pellebon for nearly two years, criticized Cleveland County prosecutors for using a “shotgun” approach as they sought to convict his client of sex crimes against six different girls.

Smith said prosecutors filed numerous charges against Pellebon to give the impression of “where there's smoke, there's fire.”

“There's gotta be a case in here somewhere,” Smith told jurors during his closing remarks. “Never mind that each one of them is weak and cannot stand on their own. There's just not been a lick of proof.”

Pellebon was arrested in December 2011 and charged with a list of sex crimes against children, one of them the mentally disabled girl, who is now 17.

The former professor, who at one time helped to train state Department of Human Services workers resigned his position at OU on Dec. 20, 2011, shortly after his arrest.

“I don't want to comment beyond saying that my life has changed forever as a result of what I've been put through ... what my family's been put through,” he said. “But the jury did their duty.”

Living with friends

Since his arrest, Pellebon has been living outside of his Norman home.

“I've had three different people put me up otherwise I would've been homeless,” he said. “But my wife and my children needed the home and by no means was I going to ask them to leave.”

Pellebon said he will still have to live outside of the home because of a court order but that he is looking forward to healing his family and reuniting with them.

“That's going to be absolutely respected,” he said of the court order.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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