Hearing for EMU rape defendant adjourned as attorneys huddle

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
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A hearing for a former Eastern Michigan University student charged with sexually assaulting multiple women was adjourned Monday amid ongoing discussions between his attorney and an assistant prosecutor.

Dustyn Michael Durbin, 24, faces 13 criminal sexual assault charges, 10 of them felonies, court records show. An assistant prosecutor and Durbin's defense attorney, David Goldstein, both told Judge Carol Kuhnke there are ongoing discussions regarding his case.

Students and community members rallied together March 28 in front of the Pease Auditorium on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, where speakers were given the opportunity to share their stories of rape and sexual assault and to show support for all survivors.

"We have made an offer," assistant prosecutor Christina Hines told Kuhnke.

Nothing was placed on the court record Monday but the remarks implied some form of a plea agreement could be in the works. Goldstein told Kuhnke he needed more time for discussions with his client and on Goldstein's request, Kuhnke adjourned Durbin's next hearing until May 24 before Judge Patrick Conlin.

Neither Hines nor Goldstein returned phone calls or email requests for comment after the hearing from The News. 

In October, Durbin's case was bound over to Washtenaw County Circuit Court from 14-A District Court in Ypsilanti. Several pretrial hearings since have been adjourned and attorneys said Monday it could be months, possibly into next, before the case would go to trial.

More:EMU officials covered up dozens of 'brutal rapes,' lawsuit alleges

Last month, 11 women using the alias Jane Doe filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents, the campus police department and several fraternities, including Alpha Sigma Phi and Delta Tau Delta. The suit alleges that EMU leadership covered up the alleged assaults by Durbin and others.

The EMU lawsuit alleges nine women were sexually assaulted by Durbin, a former member of Alpha Sigma Phi. Another former student named in the lawsuit, D'Angelo McWilliams, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman while attending the university and working as a Washtenaw County sheriff's deputy. 

Both men, as well as Thomas Hernandez, face sexual assault charges in Washtenaw County over related allegations. Hernandez, former president of EMU's Interfraternity Council, which is the governing board for fraternities, allegedly gang-raped an EMU student in 2018 after a fraternity party, according to the lawsuit.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319

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