Source: Sherman Publications

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Church youth leader pleads guilty to indecent exposure

by Susan Bromley

September 28, 2011

A former church youth leader has pleaded guilty to exposing himself to a child at a Brandon Township campground.

Curtis Burkhardt, 44, pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person Sept. 28 in front of Sixth Circuit Court Judge Rudy Nichols. The felony has wide-ranging sentencing guidelines, from one day in prison to up to life in prison, said Oakland County Sheriff's Office Detective Dale Brown, due to how the statutes are interpreted. Because of these statutes, Burkhardt will not be on the public sex offender registry. A sentencing date is undetermined.

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, who 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.