Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Former Pender County deputy back in court to be re-tried on sexual battery charges

The original trial, which ran from late February to early March of this year, ended in a hung jury.

Pender County Commissioners will soon vote on whether or not to strengthen its stormwater management regulations for new developments. (Port City Daily photo /MICHAEL PRAATS)
Former Pender County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Melvin Acevedo returned to court this week to face charges that he molested a woman while responding to a domestic dispute. (Port City Daily photo | Michael Praats)

BURGAW — A former Pender County Sheriff’s Office deputy is back in Superior Court today after the District Attorney Office’s first attempt to prosecute him led to a mistrial.

Melvin Acevedo, 42, was tried earlier this year on charges stemming from a 2016 incident, the case ended in a hung jury.

The charges stem from a July 22, 2016, incident. While responding to a domestic dispute, Acevedo is alleged to have molested the victim, placing his hand down her pants and using his flashlight to touch her genitals through her clothes. Acevedo is also alleged to have propositioned the victim before leaving the scene.

Acevedo was fired when the Pender County Sheriff’s Office received the complaint, a review of the incident by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation led to criminal charges.

Acevedo denied all charges.

Superior Court Judge Albert D. Kirby declared a mistrial in early March after jurors reported they could not reach a verdict. District Attorney Ben David, who office oversees both New Hanover and Pender counties, did not initially say whether his office intended to retry Acevedo.

According to Pender County court records, the former deputy faces six misdemeanor charges, including three counts of assault on a female, two counts of sexual battery, and one count of willful failure to discharge duty.


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