Local News

Former NCSU Police Officer on Trial for Assault

Posted September 22, 1998

— Jurors in the Pierre Debnam trial heard Wednesday from the woman who says the former N.C. State University police officer victimized her.

Debnam and the victim were the only ones on Gorman Street the morning of August 3, 1997, when Debnam pulled over the victim's car, allegedly for a sobriety check.

Police Detective W.O. Smith read part of the victim's statement in court, describing how Debnam allegedly forced her to undress in front of him. "He told her that he needed to make sure she didn't have any weapons or drugs on her, and said she should pull down her panties and pull up her skirt."

Detective Smith also read from Debnam's statement, in which Debnam says the victim revealed herself to him in an attempt to get out of a DWI. "She lifted up her dress and I said, 'You need to get your dress down.' I said 'Ma'am, I need to get away from you. You need to go.'"

George Ligon, Debnam's lawyer, told the jury the victim insisted she had to urinate before she took the sobriety test.

The victim admits she had to urinate, but says, "He had me take one leg out and spread further. He asked me to bend over and lift up my skirt."

The defense says the evidence will show the victim voluntarily exposed her body parts to then-officer Debnam.

Officer Michael Hunter interviewed Debnam after the alleged incident. "I asked him whether or not he requested she search herself. Initially, he denied it. Then, he said he told her to step from her panties."

The victim says Debnam then ordered her to perform a body cavity search with her fingers.

She says after she completed the search to his satisfaction, he threatened her. "If I mentioned this to anyone, he would pull it back up on the computer. He would find me. He would arrest me. My dad would find out."

Debnam was fired from N.C. State, following an investigation.

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