Man Arrested in Sexual Assault of UNCC Student

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by Morgan Forgarty

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Twenty-one-year-old Damien Pruitt was arrested Friday afternoon where he works in Concord.  Pruitt is accused of sexually assaulting a UNC Charlotte student inside Pine Residence Hall early Friday morning.  The exterior doors of the building are accessible only by key card, and interior bedrooms are accessible only by key.  

So how did the suspect get in? Pruitt was reportedly invited in.  UNC Charlotte Police Chief Jeffrey Baker says, "The suite mates knew who he was.  It was just folks visiting." 
 
Pruitt apparently left the person who let him into the suite to use the restroom, and then detoured into the victim's bedroom.  Baker says the victim, only being described as a woman in her early 20's, reported the assault immediately and went to the hospital.  We're told she's been offered counseling services and, given the circumstances, is doing okay.
 
One student who lives in Pine Hall tells WCCB, "(It) kinda makes you feel uneasy, you know?" Freshman Tenecia Jones says, "I guess you can't be totally trusting of other people, so make sure your doors are locked when you're asleep to make sure you're completely safe." 
 
Baker says Pruitt has a record; he says he's been convicted of non-violent crimes in Rowan County. The chief has a warning for students about visitors.  He says, "Try to learn as much as you can about them before you bring them in." 
 
Pruitt is not a student at UNC Charlotte.  His first court appearance is on Monday.
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