Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wilmington man sentenced to prison for sexual assault

Denver Dee Pitts, 75

WILMINGTON — Denver Dee Pitts, 75, was found guilty Monday by a New Hanover County jury on one charge of a second-degree sex offense. A week-long trial ended with Judge Kent Harrell sentencing Pitts to 60 to 148 months in the Department of Adult Correction and upon release, he must register as a sex offender for 30 years.

The charge arises from an October 2, 2016, attack on a 25-year-old victim. According to a press release, the victim had a conversation with Pitts in downtown Wilmington about his vintage Jaguar, which was parked nearby. Pitts then offered to buy the victim a drink and the two spent hours downtown.

The victim reports not remembering what exactly occurred until waking up in an RV camper parked near Casey’s Buffet on Oleander Drive. The victim reports wearing nothing but an oversized men’s T-shirt and being sexually assaulting by the man. The victim ran from the camper and was picked up by concerned citizens on Oleander.

The Wilmington Police Department conducted an investigation, which led to Pitts arrest in January 2017.

During the defendant’s testimony at trial, he admitted the sexual contact but denied the victim being so impaired to be physically helpless.

“This case is a reminder that not only does ‘no mean no,’ but the inability to say no means no, too,” District Attorney Ben David said in the release. “A grossly impaired individual who is physically helpless or mentally incapacitated cannot consent to sexual activity.”

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