Police: Deputy rubbed genitals on customers

December 31, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
Raleigh police have arrested a Warren County sheriff's deputy in bizarre incidents at two stores. Police spokesman Jim Sughrue says his department has charged 40-year-old Cornelius Orlando Davis with two counts of sexual battery.

Davis allegedly walked up to women in the stores and rubbed his genitals on them. The first time, it happened at the Brier Creek Wal-Mart store on Glennwood Avenue on May 30. The second time, it happened this past Wednesday at both the Wal-Mart and a Kohl's store on Alexander Promenade.

Detectives say although the attacks did not involve bare skin, they're still considered sexual assaults.

In the first incident, the victim was able to get out her cell phone and snap a picture of her attacker as he walked away.

"That's pretty brave. I think I would have been a little in shock and I don't know if I would have reacted that quickly," offered shopper Libby Powers when Eyewitness News spoke with her after the May incident.

Despite the image, and video from surveillance cameras in the store, detectives weren't able to make the connection to Davis until after the second incidents.

Kohl's security says it noticed Davis' alleged behavior and called Wal-Mart when it appeared he was heading there. Davis was arrested inside the Wal-Mart when security there called 911.

Investigators say they're concerned Davis may have done the same thing to other women.

"It's the sort of experience that some people would report. Others might just be so startled by it they wouldn't know exactly what to do. If anyone else has had a similar experience, we would ask them to come forward," said Sughrue in a May interview.

Women who shop at the stores that we spoke with in May said they were worried what else the attacker was capable of.

"If someone's willing to do that, they'd probably be willing to take the next step," said Powers.

Davis bonded out of the Wake County Jail Thursday afternoon. In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, his brother said the deputy has done nothing wrong.

"I know my brother's innocent. There's been no wrongdoing. We have a tight knit family and we're going to work through it," offered Torrance Davis. "He's a war veteran. He's a good father, a good provider, a good brother, good friend."


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