The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday May 28th

More come forward in foot-touching case

UNC Public Safety officers today (May 17) arrested Christopher Deas, 35, on three charges of sexual assault on a female by unwanted touching of feet.
Buy Photos UNC Public Safety officers today (May 17) arrested Christopher Deas, 35, on three charges of sexual assault on a female by unwanted touching of feet.

The man arrested after entering classes and touching women’s feet was released from the Orange County Jail on a $2,500 bond May 17, a spokeswoman for the jail said.

Christopher Deas, 35, is scheduled to appear before a judge on June 13, said a spokeswoman for the Orange County Superior Court.

Campus police arrested Deas on May 16 on three charges of assault on a female by unwanted touching of feet.

Randy Young, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said several individuals have reported further incidents involving Deas. Further charges are pending against Deas, Young said.

Deas attended classes in the fall and spring, a professor and student said.

Alex Craig, a recent graduate, said she recognized Deas from her Topics in Comparative Religion class in fall 2010.

He attended class for nearly half of the semester, she said.

Craig said Deas spoke up in class and even gave a presentation.

“I just thought he was an older student,” she said.

Anne Blankenship, who taught Studies in American Religion in the spring, said she remembered seeing Deas in her class.

“He showed up maybe four times during the term, and I had a student who hadn’t shown up so I assumed it was him,” she said.

She realized after checking the photos on the class roster that Deas was not the student, she said.

“He acted like an auditor,” Blankenship said.

A spokeswoman from the Office of the University Registrar said there is no record of Deas being a registered student, but acknowledged that people do unofficially audit courses even though it is counter to the University’s policy.

University policy states that registered students and persons not registered have to obtain written permission from the instructor and the department chairman to audit a course.

In a policy made effective in Fall 2010, auditors are required to register for approved courses.

Young said the charges were based on incidents that occurred from March through May.

He said Deas was arrested after an individual was able to identify him.

Deas is from Asheboro and not affiliated with the University, Young said.

Young said the case is not being treated as related to a string of home invasions in Chapel Hill in February.

Six people reported a male intruder by their bedside in the morning. Three women said the man touched their legs.

DPS is looking for additional victims or witnesses of this sort of activity at the University and in the Triangle area.

Victims or witnesses can report incidents to UNC police investigators at (919) 966–2120.

Young said the case is still under investigation.

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