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No plea deal; trial set in Detroit-area body parts case

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Posted at 8:11 AM, Dec 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 08:11:40-05

A Detroit-area man has turned down a plea deal and will go to trial in an investigation of diseased body parts used for medical training.

Arthur Rathburn's lawyer told a judge Tuesday that he's declined to plead guilty in exchange for a prison sentence of four to five years.

The stakes are high: Rathburn could face at least 14 years in prison if convicted at trial, which starts Jan. 4 in Detroit federal court. He rented out body parts for medical or dental training.

It's a legitimate business. But prosecutors say Rathburn told customers that the body parts were disease-free when they actually had tested positive for hepatitis B and HIV.

Rathburn is accused of fraud, making false statements and transporting hazardous materials. His ex-wife likely will testify against him.