Former OU Prof. Pellebon, Defense Team Respond To Not Guilty Verdict
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A Cleveland County jury has found OU Professor Dwain Pellebon not guilty on all counts of sexual abuse.
Pellebon was charged with three counts of child sex abuse and six counts of lewd or indecent proposals to children.
It took nearly five hours for jurors to render a "not guilty" verdict. The trial lasted 10 days, and all along Pellebon's defense team was fairly confident, and says they had faith in the jury.
Pellebon walked into the courtroom late Friday evening alongside his family and defense attorneys. He listened to jurors render a verdict he says he's been waiting for for nearly two years.
"I'm vindicated, but my life has been changed forever," said Pellebon.
There was a resounding gasp of relief from the family of Pellebon after all nine counts were read.
"I was thinking about my wife. I was thinking about my children. I was thinking about how long it will take to heal my family, and how ever long that takes, for it to be done properly," Pellebon said.
"In his innocence, we did the best that we could and fought the good fight, challenged the stated evidence," said defense attorney Jacquelyn Ford.
It was back in Dec. 2011 when the Cleveland County district attorney's office levied charges of child sex abuse against Pellebon.
According to court documents at the time, the then 55-year-old former OU professor assaulted two young girls between Jan. 2010 and Dec. 2011.
The Pellebon defense team called more a dozen witnesses to the stand.
"Mr. Pellebon defense has always been that he was innocent. He was not guilty of any of these charges," said Ford.
"I was praying. There were no thoughts in my mind. I was praying. Not even once did I think about [if] I would be in jail today," said Pellebon.
"He won't go home right away. It's going to take some adjustment time. What's next for him is he starts trying to pick up the pieces in his life," said David Smith, also a defense attorney for Pellebon.