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Forum staff reports, Published July 11 2012

Norberg gets continuance; trial moved ahead to Nov. 5

FARGO – The trial for former Fargo surgeon Jon Norberg, accused of drugging and raping his wife, likely will begin in November.

Judge Douglas Herman on Wednesday set a trial date of Nov. 5 after granting a continuance motion filed by defense attorney Robert Hoy. The trial had been scheduled to start on Aug. 28.

Hoy requested the later date because he is still receiving discovery information and is waiting for prosecutors to release expert testimony planned for trial.

Norberg is charged in Cass County District Court with gross sexual imposition, a Class AA felony, and reckless endangerment.

Norberg is accused of having sex with his wife, Alonna Norberg, while she was on propofol, a powerful sed-ative.

Though The Forum does not usually identify alleged victims of sexual assault, Alonna Norberg consented to be named to contest her husband’s claims that he never sexually abused her and had her permission to treat her with propofol.

Norberg pleaded not guilty to the charges after a contested preliminary hearing in May.

During that hearing, a private investigator hired by Alonna Norberg’s divorce lawyer was called to testify regarding his findings, but the investigator refused to answer many questions, citing attorney-client privileges from the divorce case.

Herman decided on Wednesday he would supervise a closed deposition by the investigator, Charles “Chuck” Anderson, prior to the trial.

Anderson accompanied Alonna Norberg to the Fargo police station on July 5, 2011, to report the alleged crime and allegedly handled evidence that may be used in the case.

Norberg faces up to life in prison without parole and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison if convicted of the Class AA felony gross sexual imposition charge. The Class C felony reckless endangerment charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.