John Burbine pleaded not guilty to 100 child sex abuse charges at his arraignment Wednesday morning in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.
The Wakefield man was arrested earlier this year and charged with numerous abuse violations involving children primarily under the age of 3. At least one of his victims is from Waltham.
Burbine spent much of the hearing looking straight ahead behind glass in a separate room, answering questions primarily with one-word responses. Unlike in the booking photo released by the District Attorney's office earlier in the month, his hair was almost completely white, with black eyebrows. He was accompanied by his attorney, Bill Barabino of Wakefield.
The defense waived a dangerousness hearing in this case, which means that Burbine will have no bail for 90 days. After that, he would technically be eligible for $1 million cash bail.
Burbine's pre-trial conference was scheduled for Jan. 15 at 9 a.m. His wife, Marian Burbine, has her own pre-trial conference next Thursday, Dec. 20. Mrs. Burbine faces six counts of reckless child endangerment, as well as two counts of running an unlicensed daycare.
After the arraignment, Barbabino spoke outside of the courthouse with the region's media. He explained that the not guilty plea is standard in most criminal proceedings, and noted that "it doesn't necessarily mean someone believes they're not guilty."
"There's a process and that process is we look at the evidence - we look at the admissible evidence," said Barabino, noting that there is a lot of material in this particular case to go through, as well as many different charges. Regarding the $1 million bail, Barabino indicated that "John will not be able to post that." The attorney also indicated that the defense had waived its dangerousness hearing largely knowing that Burbine would be detained anyhow. The prosecution would also be likely to re-apply for dangerousness in the case in 90 days.
Regarding the defendant himself, Barabino reported that Burbine "seems very distressed" by the situation, based on things like his tone of voice and overall emotional state. He also said he believes that Burbine has been threatened while in jail and that he has also been "under close observation recently." Burbine was initially held in Cambridge but Barabino refered to an "uncomfortable process" there before the defendant's move to Billerica.
The charges listed against Burbine by Middlesex County DA Gerry Leone were as follows:
40 counts of aggravated forcible rape of a child, subsequent offenses.
17 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child, subsequent
12 counts of posing a child in a state of nudity
11 counts of posing a child in sexual conduct,
13 counts of child pornography
2 counts of dissemination of material harmful to a minor
1count of operating an unlicensed day care program.