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N.C. State Public Safety Officer Arrested

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RALEIGH — An N.C. State University police officerstopped a student early Sunday morning suspected ofdriving while impaired. What happened next is up to a court to determine.

Lt. Pierre Debnam, 40, was charged Monday afternoon with second-degreeforcible sexualoffense. An arrest warrant said there was probable cause to believe Debnamforcefully engaged in a sexual act, other than intercourse, against thestudent. Officials said he had improperly touched a femaleNCSU student during the traffic stop.

N.C. State Public Safety officials said little about the charge, referring questions instead to Raleigh police, who are investigating thecase. Raleigh police also declined to elaborate on the charge.

"He (Debnam) has been placed on administrative leave with pay,"said Sgt.LarryEllis, N.C. State Department of Public Safety. "But that's as far as Ican tell you, as far as the investigation goes."

Debnam was released on a $50,000 bond just after 6 p.m. Monday. As acondition ofhis release, he must turn in his police pistol, badge and identificationand stay away from the woman he is accused of assaulting.

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