Jury Selection Begins in Ex-OU Professor's Sex Abuse Case

In 2011, former University of Oklahoma professor Dwain Pellebon was accused of lewd acts with a minor and rape. Now, nearly two years after his arrest, jury selection is underway in the sex abuse case against him. Pellebon was an assistant professor in the University of Oklahoma School of Social Work, and he served on the board of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) which advocates for children in foster care and juvenile court case. He also contracted with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to train child welfare supervisors. Pellebon resigned from his position at OU and his contract with DHS was terminated after he was charged. An investigation was launched after a 13-year-old girl told a DHS worker that she saw Pellebon fondle another 13-year-old girl at a sleepover at the man's house. The former professor was arrested on December 9, 2011, and released from jail ten days later on $75,000 bond and under the condition that he have no contact with minors. At a preliminary hearing last year, several girls testified about sexual abuse by Pellebon. Alleged victims include the aforementioned 13-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl, a 15-year-old mentally disabled girl, and an adult woman who says she was a minor when she was molested by Pellebon. Dwain Pellebon pleaded not guilty and repeatedly asserts his innocence. He told investigators that he is an "affectionate, sensual man who liked to hug, kiss, cuddle and stroke young girls that he felt close to." He denies any sexual contact, but allegedly admitted to taking the clothes off of one girl to "apply cream to her 'chest, back, and butt,'" according to a story in the Daily Mail. The media source also reports that Pellebon also told police that he once viewed child pornography, "but did not download it." Pellebon's statements to police clearly seem to indicated inappropriate behavior--statements that are reminiscent of Jerry Sandusky's interview with reporter Bob Costas when he said, "I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact," and admitted, "I shouldn't have showered with those kids." In their minds, Pellebon and Sandusky are giving valid excuses for their actions and making claims that support their innocence. However, to police, prosecutors, and the general public, they are making statements that are creepy at best and damning at worst. These two men are perfect examples of why a person accused of a crime should never, ever speak to anyone except his or her attorney about the case. Visit our website to read more about what to do if you are accused of a crime. If you need to consult an attorney about your case, call 405-418-8888 or click here to contact us.