Local News

William Peace student has prior indecent exposure charge

Posted March 13, 2013 10:24 a.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2013 12:59 p.m. EDT

Christopher Vincent Sumrell

— 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.

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."