How to make sure your child is safe with their caretaker
- Woman convicted in day care abuse case wants end to probation (2007)
- Early probation request for Fells Acres convict nixed by judge (2007)
- Wakefield man arrested in child sex abuse case
- Release: Man charged in alleged rape of children
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BOSTON (WHDH) -- The news of John Burbine being accused of over 100 charges related to child sexual abuse will have many parents double checking out their children’s day care is operated.
Massachusetts does not license in-home babysitters, which is different from day care centers. What is important, though, is people can check with the local police department where the babysitter lives to see if they are listed as a sex offender.
Parents of minor children who want to screen prospective babysitters may use a special criminal record information request. That will tell you if the person was charged as an adult with a crime and if they were convicted. The cost is $25 and it does require you to know the person’s date of birth.
Keep in mind under Massachusetts law information about level 1 sex offenders, like John Burbine, is not available to the public. So, legal analyst Tom Hoopes says do your homework.
"Parents obviously should be because of that, looking to do background checks, referrals or confirmation from as many people as possible," said Hoopes.
You can check with the Department of Early Education and Care to make sure your child care provider has a license. In this case, the Burbine's Waterfall Education Center didn't have one. The department said once they learned that, they "immediately ordered these individuals to cease operating and/or advertising the center."
Thursday’s news brought back memories of a notorious local day care child sex abuse case at the Fells Acres Day Care in Malden in the 1980s. Gerald “Tookie” Amirault was convicted of raping and molesting several children who attended his family’s day care.
Amirault served almost 20 years in prison before being released on parole. Amirault’s mother and sister were also convicted on child sex charges.
The Amirault family has always denied that they did anything wrong at the day care.
The Fells Acre case became a national story, sparking debate about children’s testimony in molestation cases.