Supporters of UNCC Sexual assault suspect show up in court - | WBTV Charlotte

Supporters of UNCC Sexual assault suspect show up in court

Damien Pruitt (Source: Twitter) Damien Pruitt (Source: Twitter)

Twenty-one-year-old suspect Damien Pruitt had his first court appearance on Monday.  He is charged with second degree rape, second degree sexual offense, and sexual battery.  His bond is $200,000.  His next court date is February 12th.

Pruitt showed up in an orange jumpsuit by way of a TV monitor.  While he didn't say a word, his supporters did.  One woman said she has known Pruitt since he was 17 years old.  She said she was shocked to hear Pruitt was charged with sex crimes.  She believes alcohol may have been involved and things between the suspect and victim may have been consensual.

She says Pruitt is innocent until proven guilty.  Police say Pruitt knew what he was doing when he went into a dorm room. A female student told campus police she woke up with Pruitt sexually assaulting her. 

Twenty-one-year-old Damien Pruitt was arrested at a restaurant in Concord where he works on Friday.  Officers say he sexually assaulted a female student early Friday morning while visiting her suite mate.

According to the campus chief of police, Pruitt was invited back to another woman's dorm room in Pine Hall. He then reportedly went to the bathroom and then entered the unlocked room of that woman's suite mate. 

Officers say Pruitt is not a student.

Around 5:38 a.m. the victim told police that she was awakened to find Pruitt assaulting her. He then ran from the room.

A campus wide alert was sent to students notifying them of the report at 6:30 a.m.

Pruitt was arrested on Friday afternoon.  He was expected to be brought back to UNC-Charlotte for questioning.  They do not believe he mistakenly entered the room.

WBTV has learned that the woman Pruitt was initially visiting could be in trouble, as well.

University say after they review the case, the woman could be sanctioned since Pruitt was charged with sexual assault while visiting her.

"What we want people to do is use great caution when they invite someone into their room," UNC-Charlotte Police Chief Jeffrey Baker told WBTV.

Officials say this was the first reported sex assault on campus this year.  Last year, there were three assaults on campus.

Pine Hall is an apartment style residence hall with four bedrooms per unit.

Pruitt has a previous arrest in Rowan County for possession of stolen goods and underage drinking.

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