A 49-year-old Bay City man will stand trial on charges he sexually abused a mentally impaired man for whom he served as a court-appointed guardian, a district judge ruled today.
Clarkston District Judge Joseph Fabrizio ordered Duane Emery Kuerbitz to stand trial in Oakland County Circuit Court after the alleged victim, 32, testified from behind a screen on the witness stand that Kuerbitz abused him over a two-year period.
Kuerbitz was charged with first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct and an additional first-degree criminal sexual conduct requested by Oakland County assistant prosecutor Heather Brown. The charges carry a penalty of up to life in prison. On Brown's request, Fabrizio closed the courtroom for the alleged victim's testimony to all but the attorneys involved, Kuerbitz and a caseworker. Fabrizio said the alleged victim qualified as a mentally impaired person and extra steps could be taken to obtain testimony free of distraction or fear. Fabrizio also permitted a screen to be placed around the man on the witness stand so he did not have to make eye contact with Kuerbitz.
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Former Guardian To Stand Trial on Sex Abuse Charges