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John Burbine: Lawyer says accused child molester seems 'distressed'

John Burbine is accused of raping and assaulting children as young as 8 days old.

The Wakefield man accused in one of the most horrific cases of child sexual abuse in Middlesex County is feeling "distressed," his lawyer said today.

John Burbine, 49, was ordered held without bail during his arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court this morning. He said little during the brief hearing and replied "not guilty" when a court clerk asked for his plea.

A prosecutor requested that Burbine be held without bail for 90 days because of the danger he poses and that his bail after that time be set at $1 million cash.

Burbine's lawyer, Bill Barabino, did not object to the bail.

Burbine appeared in court handcuffed and wearing a gray sweatshirt. There were no relatives of the victims present during the hearing, according to the district attorney's office, who also asked for privacy on behalf of the victims' families.

Prosecutors allege that Burbine raped and assaulted 13 boys and girls between the ages of 8 days and 3 1/2 years old. He had access to the children through an unlicensed daycare that his wife operated, authorities said. She has been charged with running the illegal daycare.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone announced Burbine's arrest last week and called the case "among the most troubling and disturbing cases of child abuse ever prosecuted in Middlesex County." Leone's office charged Burbine in a 100-count indictment on charges including aggravated forcible rape of a child, posing a child in a state of nudity and possession of child pornography.

In court documents submitted today by prosecutors, Burbine was charged after authorities performed a search of his computer during the investigation. Authorities said they found multiple images, including photos and videos of Burbine allegedly sexually assaulting the children. In some of the videos, authorities said Burbine's face can be seen and one of the girls calls him by name in one video.

Barabino said his client is feeling "very distressed" and was transferred from one jail to another in Billerica because of threats.

"It was an uncomfortable process like it is for anybody, especially with those charges," Barabino said. "The charges are disturbing. I think John would agree."