Local News

Raleigh shoppers accuse Warren deputy of molestation

Posted January 1, 2009 7:18 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh police arrested a Warren County deputy Wednesday night and charged him with two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery against women.

Raleigh investigators say Deputy Cornelius Orlando Davis, 40, of 119 Downey Road in Norlina, inappropriately touched women at two stores in a north Raleigh shopping center by rubbing his genital area against their buttocks.

Police said they believe there are more victims who have not come forward yet.

Raleigh Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said the first incident happened May 30 at Wal-Mart, 10050 Glenwood Ave., and the second at Kohl's, 7822 Alexander Promenade, Wednesday afternoon. Both are in Alexander Place Promenade, at Brier Creek Parkway and Glenwood.

Kohl's security staff noticed Davis acting suspiciously and alerted security at Wal-Mart when he left the store, Sughrue said. Police arrested Davis at the Wal-Mart around 10 p.m.

Police realized the incident was similar to one in May, in which investigators hadn't been able to identify the perpetrator, Sughrue said.

Neither of the identified victims was physically harmed.

Shoppers expressed shock at the allegations.

"I'm afraid, because you really don't know and you really can't trust people," Anette Robbins said. "When you don't know someone and they're coming up to you, you have to be almost, I guess, prepared for the worst, unfortunately."

When asked to comment about his deputy's arrest, Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams said: "Ain't nothing I can comment about. I don't have any legal documents in my hand. At this point, it's an ongoing investigation. It will be dealt with as a personnel matter. If he's been arrested, he's been arrested. At this time, I cannot comment until I have all the information."

Davis has been with the sheriff's office for about two years, Williams said. When asked if Davis had any personnel issues or was considered a good deputy, Williams said he did not want to comment.

Some shoppers, though, were not reticent about their opinions.

"You think that they're safe, that the cops are safe. If that's what he's doing, he shouldn't be a sheriff's deputy," Kim Martinez said.

Davis posted a $10,000 bond and was released from the Wake County Jail New Year's Day. He was scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. Friday.

Police urged other women who had contact with Davis or experienced other unwanted contact to call Detective T.J. Ouellette at 919-431-1383.