WAKEFIELD—John and Marian Burbine live in a modest two-story home on a tiny street here, where some neighbors expressed shock today at the allegations against the couple, but one resident also said Marian warned him not to let her husband babysit his child.
In an interview tonight, neighbor Brian Evans said he became suspicious of John Burbine few years ago after remarks Marian made to him and his wife.
“She basically said, ‘Don’t ever let my husband watch your kid,’” said Evans, the father of a 6-year-old boy.
He said that when he and his wife asked Marian why, she would only say that “he’s not good with children.”
John Burbine is now facing 100 criminal charges, including 40 counts of aggravated rape, for allegedly sexually assaulting 13 children during a two-year period, children he gained access to through his wife’s babysitting and day care business.
Prosecutors said Marian Burbine was not aware that her husband was allegedly molesting the children entrusted into her care, though she did know he was a Level 1 sex offender.
In an interview at his home on Second Street, a short distance from the Burbines’ home, Evans said that over time he had seen children arriving and leaving from the home of the childless couple.
“I feel terrible for these kids, and these parents,” Evans said of Burbine’s alleged victims. “It’s awful.”
There was no answer this afternoon at the home, although court records show that Marian Burbine is supposed to be under house arrest after being charged with multiple counts of reckless endangerment of a child. She has pleaded not guilty.
In the driveway of the Burbine home, a large storage unit was visible in the driveway, as well as a Nissan SUV. A whiteboard was left out front with the trash.
Neighbor Richard Peledge said the Burbines are long-time residents of the street.
He said the charges were “very shocking, and very sad. A lot of victims, I guess.”
Another neighbor, who declined to give her name, said John Burbine grew up in the home that the couple lives in. The woman said the home previously belonged to his parents.
The Burbines, she said, are “nice people, so I’m very, very shocked.”
Another neighbor, Bob Fahey, 39, said investigators from a state child welfare agency had asked him and his wife a couple of months ago if they were aware that the Burbines were running a day care business.
Fahey said he did not speak with the Burbines often, but said of John, “he seemed odd.”
Fahey, the father of two children under the age of 2, said the Burbines told him they were available to watch the children.
Fahey and his wife declined the offer.
“It’s just disturbing,” he said of the case, adding that the charges against John Burbine portray him as “an absolute monster.”John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at TAndersen@globe.com