John Burbine, Wakefield man accused of molesting 13 children, rushed to area hospital after possible suicide attempt

John Burbine, the convicted sex offender accused of molesting 13 infants and toddlers, was rushed today to an area hospital from the Middlesex County jail in Cambridge after a possible suicide attempt, his attorney said.

Burbine is awaiting trial in a case considered one of the worst examples of predatory sexual abuse in recent years.

According to his attorney, William Barabino, corrections officers at the Cambridge jail discovered that Burbine tried to take his own life this morning.

“There are indications that he made an attempt to hang himself,’’ Barabino said in a telephone interview.

Barabino said he did not have current information on Burbine’s medical condition, but added that jail officials asked for contact information for his client’s next of kin. In this instance, Barabino said, that is Burbine’s wife, Marian.


Barabino said authorities are trying to arrange a meeting at the Boston hospital between Marian Burbine — who is accused of knowingly letting her husband gain access to the children through her daycare company — and her husband because of the possibility that his injuries are life-threatening.

Both Burbine and his wife have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Barabino said he did not know whether his client was in a single-person cell at the jail. “But I do know that they monitor him very closely,’’ Barabino said. “So I think whatever he did, he did it at an opportune time when they weren’t looking.’’

According to Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, corrections officers making their rounds looked in on Burbine around 8 a.m. and concluded that he “was in need of emergency medical attention.’’

Burbine was rushed to an undisclosed hospital by Cambridge paramedics, the sheriff said in a statement.

Burbine is accused of raping and sexually abusing 13 children that he gained access to through his wife’s unlicensed daycare business between 2010 and 2012. The youngest victim was eight days old. Authorities say most of the assaults took place in the victims’ homes.

Marian Burbine is charged with recklessly endangering children by recommending her husband to parents seeking child care, and with operating an unlicensed child-care business, the Globe has reported.


During an earlier court proceeding, Burbine, through Barabino, offered to plead guilty and undergo castration in return for a reduced prison sentence, a request that Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office rejected.

When Burbine was 25 years old, he was convicted of indecently assaulting three boys, but was not sent to prison. The Globe reported last year that Burbine drew the attention of other state agencies in 2009, but no one moved to block his access to children until 2012 when another round of abuse allegations was made against him.

Troopers allegedly found cameras and computers containing evidence of sex crimes that became the basis of the 100 criminal charges Burbine now faces.

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