Separate trials have been ordered for the Challenger Foundation and its founder, Steve Cartisano, who is accused in the death of a teen participant in the wilderness-therapy program.

Sixth Circuit Judge David L. Mower granted a request Thursday to hold separate trials for the corporation and Cartisano. The attorney for the defunct program said a single trial would be prejudicial against Cartisano."The jury would only see one person at the defense table," said Cartisano. "They may see five attorneys, but they'll only see me. It could create confusion in the mind of the jury as to who is really guilty."

Cartisano faces one count of negligent homicide in the death of 16-year-old Kristen Chase of Ponte Vedra, Fla. An autopsy concluded that she died of heat stroke while participating in the program the summer of 1990.

Cartisano also faces nine counts of child abuse, as does the foundation. It originally also was charged with negligent homicide, but a judge ruled a corporation is not capable of committing a homicide.

Mower agreed to delay the trials to allow defense attorney Jim I. Watts more time to prepare, said Kane County Attorney Jim Scarth.

Cartisano said separating the defendants will allow jurors to separate the actions of the corporation and himself. "It makes the issues clear in what was my conduct and the conduct of the corporation," he said.