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Former OU professor will stand trial on child sex abuse charges

A former University of Oklahoma professor accused of sexually abusing several young girls over a period of years will stand trial, a judge ruled Friday.
by Andrew Knittle Published: June 23, 2012

— A former University of Oklahoma professor accused of sexually abusing several young girls over a period of years will stand trial, a Cleveland County judge ruled Friday.

Dwain Pellebon, who had been facing first-degree rape charges, will stand trial on four counts of sexual abuse of a child and six counts of lewd acts with a child.

Several young girls testified Friday about their interactions with Pellebon, 55, including a mentally disabled 16-year-old who told the court how the defendant took her to his bedroom and removed her clothes.

“He started touching me … where he's not supposed to,” the girl said.

The alleged abuse of the girls who testified began in 2009, prosecutors say, although the former professor was investigated more than a decade ago amid similar allegations.

The 16-year-old told the court that Pellebon urged her not to “tell my mom.”

“I only said, ‘OK,'” the girl said. She did not say he raped her.

Most of the alleged abuse happened at Pellebon's home in Norman, although some of the girls say they were inappropriately touched at a movie theater.

Another witness, who is now 21, testified that the defendant would watch her use a “massage chair” that caused her breasts to shake.

“He would just watch us … our breasts,” the woman said. “I felt very uncomfortable.”

The woman said Pellebon had also given her about 15 massages over the years, which involved him undoing her bra while he rubbed her back.

She said the defendant also kept a massage chair in a den-like room in his residence.

The same witness also testified that Pellebon would do other “weird” things, including spying on her and her sister when they were most vulnerable.

“He was just in the room watching us sleep,” the woman said. “Kind of creeped me out.”

The woman said Pellebon also used her younger sister as a “model.”

“He had a big painting in his office of her,” she said. “She was 11 or 12.”

Other witnesses described similar run-ins with the former social work professor, often involving hugs — from behind — and kisses on the forehead.

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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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