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William Peace student has prior indecent exposure charge

Posted March 13, 2013
Updated March 14, 2013

Christopher Vincent Sumrell
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— A William Peace University freshman who allegedly exposed himself on campus Tuesday was convicted in August 2012 on a prior indecent exposure charge, according to state Department of Public Safety records.

Cary police said Christopher Vincent Sumrell, 21, of 2511 Bryarton Village Way, Raleigh, was in his car in a CVS parking lot in September 2011 when he revved his engine to get attention and exposed himself to passing women.

He also faces a charge of aiding and abetting armed robbery in connection with a string of robberies in Cary in July 2012.

Sumrell began at William Peace in August, when the school opened its doors to men for the first time in 150 years.

The university's vice president of student affairs, Frank Rizzo, said Wednesday that students are generally asked on admissions applications if they have criminal convictions or pending charges.

If so, Rizzo said, the university does criminal background checks and meets with applicants. Their admission is considered on a case-by-case basis.

It's unclear when Sumrell applied to William Peace and if he notified the school of his police record. Citing privacy laws, Rizzo could not speak specifically about Sumrell.

Rizzo did say that Tuesday's incident is under investigation. William Peace student arrested on indecent exposure charges William Peace student arrested on indecent exposure charges

In that case, Raleigh police say, Sumrell allegedly stood naked in his dorm room window. Three passers-by reported him to police.

He was being held Wednesday morning at the Wake County jail under a $5,000 bond on three counts of indecent exposure. If convicted, he could face up to six months in prison.

"William Peace University will not accept any behavior unbecoming of a student," Rizzo said Tuesday. "That will be seen as inappropriate, and we will follow our own judicial process."


This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • kevincllnsnlsn92 Mar 14, 6:22 p.m.

    I would appreciate it greatly if all who bash the males of WPU would stop... I am not a bad person, I just want a 1st class education. Do not come at me or any of my classmates because we want to better ourselves. I did not ask peace to become Co-ed neither did any other guys but I will not be grouped in the masses what he did has no connection to me what so ever.

  • bill0 Mar 14, 4:15 p.m.

    "I'm sure it's the fact that he was showcasing it in front of a window with intent to get attention -- that is what makes it criminal, not the fact that he was in his room without clothes."

    Well, that is certainly what got him arrested, but that doesn't seem like an actual legal distinction. I'd like to see the statute that says it is illegal to get naked in your own home if someone can see you though a window.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Mar 14, 3:54 p.m.

    It was this man and him alone. The other men on this campus is not be blamed for this man's indecent exposure.

  • carrboroyouth Mar 14, 3:30 p.m.

    I also don't think it's fair to blame all the male freshman at Peace for this guy's actions. It's a real shame that he makes them look bad.

  • carrboroyouth Mar 14, 3:28 p.m.

    bill0: He wasn't in his own house was he? Wasn't he in university property? -wenfromwake

    You can definitely be naked in your dorm room! How else do you change/have relations/get ready to shower?

    I'm sure it's the fact that he was showcasing it in front of a window with intent to get attention -- that is what makes it criminal, not the fact that he was in his room without clothes.

  • BettySB Mar 14, 9:54 a.m.

    Peace should have never gone co-ed, and a change of that magnitude certainly shouldn't have been done under the inept administration there. HOWEVER, this issue did not happen because it is co-ed. It happened because they are recruiting ANYONE who will attend just to boost enrollment and be able to spin all of those increased enrollment numbers in the media. It's all about quantity, not quality, there. I feel bad for the good students they have there (both women and men)to have to put up with this. As for the indecent exposure charge, that's bad, and I'm sure he needs some help as many people have commented. But with the string of incidents including A CHARGE OF AIDING AND ABETTING ARMED ROBBERY, I would be extremely concerned if I was a student or parent.

  • wenfromwake Mar 14, 9:45 a.m.

    bill0: He wasn't in his own house was he? Wasn't he in university property?

  • wenfromwake Mar 14, 9:43 a.m.

    WPU might want to start running background checks on ALL students that they admit; most universities do this, especially in this day and age.

  • bill0 Mar 14, 9:28 a.m.

    Sounds like this guy is quite the upstanding citizen......

    However, since when did getting naked in your own house become a crime?

  • brassy Mar 14, 8:23 a.m.

    Future sex offender on the rise. Hope law enforcement keeps an eye on him.