Wakefield man faces more than 100 charges in child sex abuse case; allegedly had 13 victims in towns north and west of Boston

WOBURN — A Wakefield man allegedly videotaped himself as he raped and sexually abused 13 small children — some as young as 8 days old — while providing day care for people at their homes in various towns outside Boston, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said today.

John Burbine, 49, has been indicted on 100 counts. He gained access to the children through the child care service, Waterfall Education Center, run by his wife, prosecutors said.

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

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John Burbine (Middlesex District Attorney)

The victims are from Stoneham, Medford, Newton, Reading, Melrose, Woburn, and Waltham. They were both male and female and ranged in age from 8 days to 3½ years old. The assaults occurred from August 2010 and through August 2012, prosecutors said.

Leone said his office first received a complaint about the treatment of children in late September and that his office obtained a court order shutting the facility down while the criminal investigation continued.

Burbine’s wife, Marian, 46, is also charged with six counts of reckless endangerment of a child and two counts of operating an unlicensed day care business.

Prosecutors said that they believe that the wife did not know about the crimes that her husband was committing while he assisted her with her business.

John Burbine faces charges of aggravated forcible rape of a child, subsequent offense (40 counts), aggravaged indecent assault and battery on a child, subsequent offense (17 counts), posing a child in a state of nudity (12 counts), posing a child in sexual conduct (11 counts), possession of child pornography (13 counts), dissemination of material harmful to a minor (2 counts), and operating an unlicensed child care program.

Leone said at a news conference this afternoon that the penalties on the charges were such that “he will never get out of jail.”

Prosecutors said the Burbines advertised child care and tutoring on various websites, including parenting and coupon sites. The Waterfall Education Center offered short and long term child care, group child care, overnight newborn care, and summer camp alternative care, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors alleged that Burbine “often assisted” his wife and that Marian Burbine would tell parents that her husband was an experienced and problem-free babysitter.

John Burbine was originally arrested Sept. 28 by state troopers assigned to Leone’s office after an investigation into unlicensed child care at Waterfall uncovered evidence of sexual assault on a child, prosecutors said. He was arraigned Oct. 5 in Malden District Court where he was held without bail under the dangerousness statute.

After his arrest, prosecutors allegedly discovered more victims as well as video evidence showing the assaults that led to his indictment today. Prosecutors said an arraignment on the charges in the indictment had not yet been scheduled.

Marian Burbine was arraigned Oct. 1 in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. She is free on bail, with conditions that she wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, stay in her home during the nighttime hours, and stay away from victims, clients, former emloyees, and any children under the age of 16. Her next date is Dec. 20 for a pre-trial hearing.

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