Negaunee man’s sexual assault preliminary exam is delayed

There’s a delay in the court case of a Negaunee man accused of sexual assault on a disabled woman.

William Arbelius, 62, was scheduled to have a preliminary exam this morning in Ishpeming District Court. However, his prelim has been adjourned and no new date has been set. Court staff members say his defense attorney, Karl Numinen, asked for the adjournment.

Arbelius is facing three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a mentally disabled relationship. Each count carries a potential 15-year prison sentence if found guilty. Arbelius is in the Marquette County Jail on $10,000 bond on each charge.

He’s a former Marq-Tran bus driver, and he’s accused of sexually assaulting the woman on his bus in Ishpeming Township. Marq-Tran officials say Arbelius was fired last September but could not comment on the nature of his termination. He’s also a former officer with the Republic Township Police Department.