At Least 1 Waltham Child Among Victims of Alleged Sex Crimes at Wakefield Day Care

Wakefield man is accused of filming himself in various sexual activities with young children.

A Wakefield husband and wife are facing numerous charges in connection with an illegal day care service that subjected at least 13 children - one of them just days old - to horrific sexual abuse that was recorded on video. 

On Thursday, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone announced the indictments of Wakefield residents John Burnbine, 49, and his wife, Marian Burbine, 46. The two were proprietors of the Waterfall Education Center, which reportedly offered home-based services to clients ranging from day care to group care and tutoring and babysitting.

According to the DA, this case covers abuse allegations occurring from August, 2010 to August 2012. Child victims allegedly ranged in age from 8 days old to 3.5 years old. The victims are from Stoneham, Medford, Newton, Reading, Melrose, Woburn and Waltham, according to DA's office.

"In my 14 years in Middlesex County, I have never seen a case this bad," Leone told area media at a Thursday press conference in Woburn.

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Combined, the two defendants were indicted on more than 100 charges. John Burbine is facing:

  • 40 counts of aggravated forcible rape of a child (subsequent offense)
  • 17 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child
  • 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
  • 1 count of operating an unlicensed day care program

For her part, Marian Burbine faces:

  • 6 counts of reckless endangerment of a child
  • 2 counts of operating an unlicensed day care business.


Background on the case

A complaint against Mr. Burbine received back in July was also deemed not prosecutable at the time, reported Leone - but it also gave authorities the break they needed to keep the investigation of the day care service going. That's because once they knew about the illegal day care service, authorities were able to get a cease and desist order for the business, as well as a search warrant for the defendants' home and business.

During this search, Leone reported that a large number of videos and photos allegedly showing the abuse were discovered. Mrs. Burbine was charged on October 1, while Mr. Burbine was arrested September 28, said Leone.

For now, Leone said that Mrs. Burbine is not charged with knowingly allowing the abuse to happen. However, he noted that along with allegedly running the illegal daycare service, she would have been aware of abuse allegations made against her husband in 2005 and 2009, which turned out not to be prosecutable, as well as his record as a sex offender. Leone suggested that in those matters, the very young age of the alleged victims may have made prosecution impractical.

Many of these assaults also allegedly took place at the homes of the victims - apparently this business was set up more like a babysitting service where they would go to clients' homes. The two have a residence on Second Street in Wakefield and their business address was on Lincoln Street. The two reportedly do not have children of their own.

Leone also noted that in 1989, Mr. Burbine was convicted of indecent assault and battery, but that under state law, was classified as a Level 1 Sex Offender - which is the kind deemed least likely to repeat.

"It is our firm intention that he will be convicted for these crimes and he will never get out of jail," said Leone, noting that some of the victims are "irreparably damaged."

Mrs. Burbine is due back in court Dec. 20 while a court date for Mr. Burbine is not yet established.

And while authorities so far are investigation abuse against 13 children, Leone noted that "scores" of children had been in the care of the Burbines at some point. With that in mind, those who still have allegations to report involving this matter are encouraged to come forward, added the District Attorney.

Catch Wity December 06, 2012 at 09:30 PM
This person is a disgusting human being & deserves everything that will happen to him doing life in Walpole!!!!
TheHam December 07, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I had to call child welfare for my neighbor's illegal daycare she was running out of her house, I think 20-maybe even 25 kids with NO license or registration to run this business. Kids being picked up as late as 10pm, no beds in the house, little boys being escorted by grown men into their cars at 11pm-2am, etc. I had doubts that nothing would happen since she was an illegal immigrant (don't worry Alice H- I know this for a fact- you Illegal immigrant supporter!), unfortunately I was right. Curious to know the welfare of the children 1 year after my complaint....any report of a child in possible danger should be investigated fully.
Ryan Grannan-Doll December 07, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Dear Commenters, I have deleted two comments that violated the terms of service. Anybody that does not follow them is subject to have their comment deleted. For review of the terms, visit http://waltham.patch.com/terms
matt December 08, 2012 at 02:44 AM
What happened to freedom of speech?
EY December 09, 2012 at 06:16 PM
What can you do to a little innocent Baby ..You nasty disgusting animal thats what you are you deserve the worst you and your sick wife.. Im sorry to those parenrs that this animal hurt your babies . This animal should be sentenced for life. If he did it once he'll do it again.


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