WAKEFIELD (CBS) – A Wakefield man who ran an unlicensed childcare and tutoring service with his wife has been accused of sexually abusing 13 young children, in what District Attorney Gerald Leone called the “worst case of neglect, abuse, and rape of kids I’ve ever seen.”
The suspect, John Burbine was indicted Thursday on more than 100 counts related to child sexual abuse.
He is accused of sexually assaulting children who ranged in age from 8 days old to three-and-a-half years old.
Burbine is also accused of taping the alleged sexual assaults, which took place at the victims’ homes in various towns between August 2010 and August 2012.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
On the Burbine’s Wakefield block, many neighbors said they didn’t associate with the couple.
Jay Peledge’s mother lives next door and watches his children. Peledge said the family was deeply disturbed by the allegations.
“I”m having a difficult time with it because I have two young kids. Fortunately my kids were never watched by them,” he said.
Around the block, Michael Coughlin also had a gut reaction to the news. He said he immediately thought of his two small kids.
“The fact that it was just so close to home. You hear stories but you never realize it’s going to be in your own backyard,” he said.
Another neighbor told reporters the Burbine’s had approached him to watch his young children. He declined the offer.
Burbine, a convicted Level 1 sex offender, allegedly had access to the victims through the Waterfall Education Center, an unlicensed childcare and tutoring service he and his wife were running.
Burbine was acting as babysitter or a tutor at the time of the alleged attacks.
The Department of Children and Families said in a statement they will continue to cooperate with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
“After receiving a 51A report alleging abuse of a child by Mr. Burbine, the Department referred the case to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office for further investigation. The Department will provide support and assistance to any and all affected children and families,” Cayenne Isaksen of DCF said.
Isaksen said when DCF received allegations of abuse in 2005 and 2009, they referred the case to the District Attorney’s office for investigation. Burbine was never charged after those allegations surfaced.
A DA’s news release called the case “among the worst cases of child abuse ever prosecuted by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.”
Burbine’s wife, whom Leone said was not aware of the abuse, has been charged with reckless endangerment of the children.
Lauren Leamanczyk contributed to this report