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Burkhardt pleads no contest to indecent exposure



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February 08, 2012 - A former church youth leader who exposed himself to children at a Brandon Township campground will serve one year in jail and five years of probation under terms of his plea agreement.

Curtis Burkhardt, 44, pleaded no contest to a charge of indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person on Feb. 8 in front of Sixth Circuit Court Judge Rudy Nichols. The charge is a felony punishable by up to life in prison, but under the terms of the plea agreement, Oakland County Sheriff's Office Detective Dale Brown said Burkhardt will be sentenced to one year in the Oakland County Jail and five years probation. As part of his sentencing, set for 8:30 a.m., March 2 in front of Nichols, Burkhardt will be required to be on the sex offender registry for the next 15 years. He remains free on bond prior to sentencing.

"His prior conviction could not be used against him in this case, because it was dismissed upon completion of the probationary period," Brown said. "With the totality of the circumstances surrounding this case, it is a satisfactory outcome."

Burkhardt previously pleaded guilty in September as part of a plea agreement in which he would only serve five years of probation, but Brown said the agreement was withdrawn after the judge further reviewed the circumstances.

According to police reports, on Aug. 12, 2010 Burkhardt took two 11-year-old girls to the Clearwater Campground, 1140 S. Ortonville Road. He did not have prior approval from their parents. Burkhardt also took along his own three children, ages 10, 7 and 5.

While traveling from Grand Blanc to the campground, Burkhardt had a sexually toned conversation with one of the 11-year-old girls, whom he knew from serving as a volunteer youth leader at the First Baptist Church of Grand Blanc. During the conversation, he asked her if she had ever seen male genitals and asked her questions about her 16-year-old sister's sexual activity. The victim told police Burkhardt was aroused during the conversation.

While at the campground, Burkhardt insisted the victim go with him to get pop and continued to ask questions of the victim regarding her having a boyfriend. While having lunch at the campground, he insisted she sit next to him, and while he had his own 5-year-old daughter on his lap, exposed himself to the victim.

Further investigation found that Burkhardt had exposed himself to the victim's older sister a few years prior when she was 13- or 14-years-old and babysitting at the Burkhardt residence.

Another victim, now in college, was located and said that in 2003-2004, when she was 16 and a babysitter for him and his wife, Burkhardt approached her while sexually aroused on several occasions.

Burkhardt was previously convicted of indecent exposure out of the 67th District Court in Flint in 2001. The victim in that case said Burkhardt exposed himself to her and her 3-year-old daughter while they were at the McDonald's in Grand Blanc. His conviction was taken under advisement at that time and dismissed after completion of probation.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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