Local News

N.C. State Public Safety Officer Arrested

Posted August 4, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— An N.C. State University police officer stopped a student early Sunday morning suspected of driving while impaired. What happened next is up to a court to determine.

Lt. Pierre Debnam, 40, was charged Monday afternoon with second-degree forcible sexual offense. An arrest warrant said there was probable cause to believe Debnam forcefully engaged in a sexual act, other than intercourse, against the student. Officials said he had improperly touched a female NCSU 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 the case. Raleigh police also declined to elaborate on the charge.

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

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