The Norman Transcript

November 1, 2013

Teacher testifies child told the truth

Alleged victim was in middle school when claims made

By Andy Rieger
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The middle school teacher for a child who made sexual abuse claims against a former University of Oklahoma professor said she never observed the girl fabricating stories.

“As far as I could tell, she always told the truth,” the teacher told jurors at Dwain Pellebon’s trial Friday morning. She was one of two final rebuttal witnesses called by the state Friday morning.

 Pellebon, a former OU professor of social work is accused of multiple counts of child sexual abuse.

He was charged in December 2011. The teacher, who now works in Ardmore, said the girl was one of the highest functioning in her special education class at Whittier Middle School.

The trial began Oct. 21. Family members and friends have painted various pictures of Pellebon who has been free on bond since his arrest in 2011. In court today, one family member became visibly upset and was escorted from the courtroom by Pellebon’s defense attorney David Smith.

Additionally today, an interviewer at Mary Abbott Children’s House testified about going to Whittier in December of 2011 to interview the child with a Norman police detective.

The interviewer testified she observed the child’s mother to be “distant” to her child. “She didn’t hug her,” she said.

District Judge Tracy Schumacher is expected to complete jury instructions and allow prosecutors and defense attorneys to give closing arguments before handing the case to jurors Friday afternoon.