The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

May 11, 2012

Former intern claims wrongful reprimand

NORMAN — A former intern of City Rescue Mission has told the district court he was wrongfully reprimanded for reporting child abuse.

John Patrick Keefe II, who in 2002 was a master’s-level social work student at the University of Oklahoma, filed an amicus curiae brief Tuesday in the trial of Dwain A. Pellebon.

Pellebon, 55, of Norman, is a former University of Oklahoma social work professor who has been accused of raping and sexually abusing two children. The children are now 15 and 13.

According to the brief, Pellebon and other officials of the rescue mission, supported by university officials, reprimanded Keefe for reporting physical child abuse to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Keefe also alleges that he was reprimanded for suggesting a change to the rescue mission policy, which would have required staff and interns to immediately report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities.

Keefe has asked to testify at Pellebon’s trial. According to the brief, he has evidence that shows Pellebon “has a history of intentionally and willfully try(ing) to prevent the reporting of child abuse.”

Pellebon’s preliminary hearing originally was scheduled for Thursday, though a court official said it has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. June 22.

Joel Pruett 366-3540 jpruett@normantranscript.com

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