When Will Trial of Accused Pedophile Start?

Burbine is accused of sexually abusing a Waltham child.

John Burbine
John Burbine
Accused serial sex offender John Burbine is expected to go on trial in early May, with a pre-trial conference now scheduled for April 17. 

Burbine appeared in Middlesex Superior Court late Monday morning, accompanied by his defense attorney Bill Barabino.

Burbine is facing around 100 child sex abuse charges, including at least one from Waltham.

During the hearing a pretrial conference date of April 17th was set, with an eye on beginning jury selection and certain trial-related motions on May 1. Depending on how some ongoing matters are resolved, the trial could last for about a month. 

At Monday's hearing, a superior court judge approved a defense motion for $7,500 to hire Dr. Keith Ablow, a nationally known psychiatrist, to assess Burbine. If Burbine is found to be mentally ill and incapable of appreciating the criminality of the allegations against him, Barabino said it would bolster a case for committing Burbine to a psychiatric ward instead of prison.

The prosecution is also expected to have its own witness assess Burbine's mental competency. 

Burbine, a former Wakefield resident, is charged with about 100 counts of child sexual abuse, following his arrest in late 2012. He pleaded not guilty to the charges back in December.

Along with numerous accusations from throughout Middlesex County, Burbine was also charged last year with additional sex abuse crimes in Essex County

On Monday, Barabino said he expects to call the arresting officer from Burbine's arrest back in 1989 to the trial stand, where he was listed as a Level 1 sex offender who went on to escape detection as a risk to children. Burbine's wife, Marian, is facing separate charges in connection with the case for running the illegal daycare business where much of the abuse is alleged to have taken place. 

Along with the officer from the 1989 arrest, the defense would also have Dr. Ablow and a computer expert testify, as well as several other unspecified individuals with knowledge of the Burbine case. The defense would not expect to call Dr. Ablow if Burbine is found mentally competent, Barabino said. 

Barabino indicated that Burbine has been on medication during his time in prison, and the defendant seemed to have lost some weight and had mostly white hair during this latest appearance. 


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