NORMAN — A University of Oklahoma professor who had worked with a child advocacy organization has been arrested on complaints of rape and lewd acts with a child, police said Tuesday.
Dwain Pellebon, 54, was arrested Friday on two complaints of rape and one complaint of lewd acts with a child younger than 16, Norman police Capt. Tom Easley said.
Pellebon was booked at the Cleveland County jail and released on $75,000 bail Friday.
He has not been charged in district court, Easley said, but an investigation continues.
Pellebon, an OU associate professor of social work, had been a member of the board of directors for the Cleveland County chapter of Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, an organization that advocates for children in the juvenile court and foster systems.
Phone calls and emails to Pellebon on Tuesday were not returned.
Kathleen Romero, the executive director for Cleveland County CASA, said Pellebon went on a leave of absence from the board earlier this year.
The board will hold a special meeting Wednesday to make a decision on how to handle the matter, Romero said.
Professor is on paid
OU spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said Pellebon had been placed on paid administrative leave. Pellebon could be moved to unpaid administrative leave as more details come to light, Bishop said.
While on leave, he is not allowed to contact OU students or use university facilities, she said.
Pellebon has been on family and medical leave since Oct. 5, Bishop said.
Donald Baker, OU School of Social Work academic director, said he could not comment on the allegations Tuesday but said the complaints are under investigation.
According to his curriculum vitae, which is a type of academic resume, Pellebon holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Southern University at New Orleans, as well as a master's degree in social work and a doctorate in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin — Madison.
Courses Pellebon teaches focus on sexual behavior and values, problems in human relations and cultural diversity and oppression.
His primary research interests include human sexuality, mental illness and ethnic identity, according to his curriculum vitae, which is posted on OU's website.
He also has served as the faculty adviser for the Undergraduate Students of Social Work Association and the OU chapter of the NAACP.
In addition, he has served as a mentor for Bridge Builders, an organization that works with black OU student athletes.