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Man arraigned on 9 counts of sexual abuse of minor

Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Nikiski man was arraigned in Kenai Superior Court on Tuesday on nine counts of sexual abuse of a minor and six counts of possessing child pornography.

Martin Vandenburgh, 53, was formally charged with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, three counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and the child pornography counts.

After questioning the defendant and his wife, Judge Anna Moran determined Vandenburgh qualified for a public defender to be assigned and said a bail review hearing could be arranged through the attorney. She said bail set at the initial arraignment is $75,000 cash performance and a court appointed third-party custodian would be required.

Moran explained to Vandenburgh that first-degree sexual abuse of a minor is an unclassified felony and he could be sentenced to between five and 99 years in prison if convicted with a mandatory minimum of 20 years.

Sitting in court in a yellow jail uniform, Vandenburgh acknowledged that he understood and said, "I know; I'm 53."

Moran continued, saying the second-degree sexual abuse of a minor offense carries a maximum 10-year sentence if convicted and the class C felony -- possession of child pornography -- carries a maximum of five years if convicted.

Charging documents allege Vandenburgh sexually abused a victim identified as "S.V." between February 2005 and February 2008, while the victim was between nine and 12 years old. The offenses reportedly occurred in Anchorage until 2007, and then between Feb. 14, 2007 and Feb. 13, 2008 in Nikiski.

The alleged offender is described as the victim's natural parent.

When Moran asked Vandenburgh's wife if there are any children living in the family's Nikiski home, she said, "They were removed when all this started."

A jury trial was scheduled to begin during the week of Aug. 24 in Kenai.

Vandenburgh was escorted back to the Wildwood Pretrial Facility pending the trial.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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