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Prosecutor: Man raped, abused 13 infants, children and videotaped attacks

Middlesex District Attorney's Officer

John Burbine, 49, of Wakefield, Mass., is accused of sexually abusing more than a dozen young children.

A Massachusetts man raped and sexually abused more than a dozen young children in their homes and videotaped the assaults, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The purported victims were as young as 8 days old, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said.

“This is among the most troubling and disturbing cases of child abuse ever prosecuted in Middlesex County,” Leone said in a statement.

John Burbine, 49, of Wakefield, was indicted Thursday by a Middlesex grand jury on more than 100 counts of child sex offenses. He gained access to many of the children through a child care service operated by his wife, Leone said at a news conference Thursday.

According to authorities, Burbine and his wife advertised child care and tutoring services on various websites including parenting websites and coupon service websites. They also transported children to another family’s home for day care and ran a summer activities program in which they took children to various places, prosecutors said. 

Burbine raped and sexually assaulted at least 13 infants and young boys and girls who were in his care from August 2010 through August 2012, according to the indictment. Many of the children were abused multiple times over several months or years, the charges allege.

The victims ranged in age from 8 days to 3½ years old and are from Stoneham, Medford, Newton, Reading, Melrose, Woburn and Waltham, prosecutors said.

Investigators said they found images and videos on Burbine’s home computer of the victims “posed in various states of nudity and engaged in sexual acts”  “It is alleged the defendant videotape recorded the assaults on the victims,” the prosecutor’s office said.

“He committed these unspeakable crimes in the victims’ homes and communities. Further, the defendant filmed the repeated, unthinkable abuse,” Leone said. “The defendant gained access and opportunity to abuse young children through advertising child care services with his wife, who operated a tutoring and child care business, which was not licensed. Children are our most vulnerable victims and we will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent those who harm or exploit them.”  

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Burbine’s wife, Marian Burbine, 46, of Wakefield, has been indicted on charges of reckless endangerment of a child and operating an unlicensed day care business. Prosecutors said she was not present during the alleged rapes and did not know about them. She is free on bail, with conditions that she wear a monitoring bracelet, stay in her home from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.,  and have no contact with alleged victims, clients, former emloyees, and any children under 16.

John Burbine was originally arrested Sept. 28 in Reading by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office after an investigation into allegations of unlicensed child care at Waterfall Education Center, the business run by his wife, purportedly uncovered evidence of a sexual assault on a child.

Leone said his office obtained a court order shutting the business down while the criminal investigation continued. Following John Burbine’s arrest, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office said it discovered more victims as well as video evidence allegedly showing the assaults on the victims, leading to the indictment Thursday.

Burbine will be arraigned Dec. 12 in Middlesex Superior Court.  

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