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Investigators: Accused Child Molester Showed Porn to Toddlers

John Burbine's attorney has asked a judge to dismiss eight of the 100 charges filed against him.

The lawyer for accused child molester John Burbine has asked a judge to dismiss eight of the 100 charges Burbine is facing, saying his own client reached a "level of deviancy and perversion" unanticipated by the law, given the very young age of the victims.

Attorney Bill Barabino has filed a motion to dismiss six counts of aggravated rape of a child and two counts of dissemination of matter harmful to minors. This would still leave Burbine facing some 92 counts.

At least one of Burbine's alleged victims is from Newton, according to officials.

Burbine's wife, Marian, faces additional charges of reckless endangerment of a child for operating an illegal day care center in Wakefield where many of the victims' families were clients.

Following an April 30 hearing in Middlesex Superior Court, Barabino told Wakefield Patch he believes the prosecution should have charged Burbine with indecent assault and battery on a child rather than the six aggravated rape charges, which allegedly involved females as young as 22 months.

Otherwise, Barabino told the court, proceeding on those particular counts could "carve out a whole new definition of rape" that is "outside of the scope of the definition as the (Supreme Judicial Court) states it today."

The charges of dissemination of material harmful to minors charges stem from images recovered by investigators that allegedly show two female toddlers propped up in high chairs while pornographic images on a laptop were shown to them.

In seeking the dismissal of these two charges, the defense maintained that the victims were actually so young that they fall outside the scope of the statute and did not likely comprehend the images they had seen.

A skeptical judge asked, "do you really think the Legislature meant to protect a citizen's inalienable right to show pornography to toddlers?" Barabino responded that the Burbine charges represent "such a level of deviancy and perversion that it wasn't anticipated." 

However, Assistant District Attorney Katelyn Draper said Burbine exposed the girls to the pornography as "a way to desensitize them, make them more active participants."

Draper acknowledged that this young age group is not necessarily verbal, but does respond visually.

"Statute does not make any distinction on whether a child can comprehend it in any way," Draper told the judge.

For some victims, abuse allegedly started on the changing table

Draper said investigators recovered hundreds of images of Burbine allegedly engaged in sex acts with the young victims, some so young they were on the changing table.

Both photos and videos were reportedly recovered by investigators, as well as reported audio where Burbine can be heard speaking to his victims.

With these images and reported audio recordings, Draper said there is sufficient evidence under the law for the rape indictments.

Burbine's hearing was continued to Wednesday, June 19 at 2 p.m. Burbine's trial is tentatively set for December, while his wife is tentatively set to go on trial in August.

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