NCCU student charged with groping fellow student

Brandon Whitehurst

July 16, 2010 3:50:19 PM PDT
An NC Central student is facing serious charges after he allegedly groped a female student and then later tried to barge into her dorm room.The victim, who only wants to be identified as "Mary," says Brandon Whitehurst made sexual advances toward her earlier in the day on Wednesday and then around 3 a.m., he tried to make his way into her dorm room.

She says she was so afraid that she put a chair against the door and called for help.

Still reeling from the incident, "Mary" says she was shocked to learn from her resident advisor that Whitehurst is a registered sex offender.

"I feel like murderers and sex offenders shouldn't be allowed on campus," Mary said. "I said out of the protection of other women, they need to know that this is not right."

Whether college students and prospective applicants should be admitted to North Carolina's 16 public universities is a debate between protecting student privacy and protecting student safety.

The murder of UNC Wilmington student Jessica Faulkner in 2005 sparked a lawsuit that changed the UNC system's admission policy. Faulkner's killer had a criminal record and lied on his admissions application.

It's unclear if Whitehurst answered admissions questions honestly when he applied to NCCU.

A campus spokesperson declined to comment Friday and asked for more time to investigate before making a public statement.

However, an UNC school system spokesperson says all 16 campuses do not conduct criminal background checks on all students, but it does conduct them if a student's application raises concerns.

In "Mary's" opinion, Whitehurst's criminal history should have raised more than a red flag.

"If we don't know, you never know what's going to happen like this," she said.

NCCU officials say Whitehurst is no longer a student and at the time he applied, new admissions guidelines were not in place.

Whitehurst is currently in jail under a $250,000 bond.

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