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Hearing delayed in township guardian's abuse case

August 04, 2010 - A review hearing has been delayed for the former township man accused of sexually abusing the mentally incapacitated man for whom he was guardian.

The hearing for Duane Emery Kuerbitz has been adjourned until 1:30 p.m., Aug. 31, in front of Sixth Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot, pending completion of a psychological examination.

Kuerbitz, 49, faces four charges, including two counts of criminal sexual conduct first degree, and one count each of criminal sexual conduct third degree, and habitual offender, second offense.

According to police reports, on July 25, 2009, Brandon Township deputies responded to Allen and Seymour Lake roads on a welfare check and upon arrival, made contact with the 31-year-old victim, who said he'd been abused by Kuerbitz since Kuerbitz became his guardian in 2007. The most recent assault occurred two days prior.

Kuerbitz and the victim had been living in a home in the 400 block of W. Seymour Lake Road since 2008. The victim described crimes committed against him by Kuerbitz that included forced sexual acts including sodomy.

On March 24, after several months of investigation by police and prosecutors, Dr. Charles Clark, a board certified forensic psychologist, conducted a mental evaluation on the victim, who was determined to be not mentally capable of consenting to sex as indicated by Kuerbitz, and has mental retardation as it is legally defined.

Kuerbitz was arrested March 31 at his residence in Bay City by the Fugitive Apprehension Team.

The Michigan Sex Offender Registry records show that Kuerbitz has two convictions for criminal sexual conduct first degree (person under 13) from 1991 in Waterford.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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