Both sides rest cases in Ortner's third trial
By Dave Forster, The Forum (Fargo-Grand Forks),

November 14, 2002

The prosecution and the defense rested their cases Wednesday in the trial of a Moorhead man facing child sex abuse charges

David Ortner, 54, is accused in Clay County District Court of spanking three boys on their bare buttocks with a shoe brush. In one of the cases he is also accused of touching the boy's genitals.

All three victims worked for Ortner at his Moorhead business, D&M Technologies. The trial, which involves charges of second- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, was moved from Moorhead to Stearns County because of pre-trial publicity.

The three victims took the stand Wednesday, as did another boy who testified he talked to one of the victims immediately after a spanking occurred. Two of the victims told jurors that, given the chance, they would go back to work for Ortner.

One of those boys broke down on the witnesses stand, and Judge Kathleen Weir cleared the courtroom to allow the boy time to compose himself.

The defense presented no witnesses.

In an earlier trial, Ortner pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, admitting he had sex with a boy who worked for him. The victim in that case said he was abused from the age of 9 until he was 16. In another trial involving a separate case, a jury found Ortner guilty of touching the bare buttocks of another boy who worked for him.

The jury also found Ortner guilty of giving the boy a water enema. Ortner is awaiting sentencing in those cases. The current trial is expected to resume today with closing arguments.

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