DA: Alert Not Issued For Child Sex Abuse Suspect

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The Middlesex district attorney says authorities did not have a way to alert the Sex Offender Registry Board about earlier allegations of sexual abuse by a Wakefield man, now charged with raping 13 babies and toddlers.

John Burbine, 49, was indicted Thursday on nearly 100 counts of sexual abuse.

District Attorney Gerard Leone told The Boston Herald there was “no formal mechanism” to notify the board that Burbine was investigated in 2005 and again in 2009.

Stephanie Chelf Guyotte, a spokeswoman for Leone, said discussions are underway with lawmakers about a better notification system.

Burbine could have been raised to a higher classification than Level 1 sex offender status if prosecutors had alerted the board to past sex-abuse allegations. Level 1 offenders are considered the least likely to re-offend.

A July court ruling prohibited the board from reclassifying sex offenders at a higher level without a new conviction.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on December 8, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.