BOSTON, Dec. 23, 2013—A teacher’s aide at a Hyde Park school was held on high bail today at his arraignment on charges that he inappropriately touched a special needs student, Suffolk County District attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
THOMAS J. BURKE, Jr. (D.O.B. 5/10/56) of Roslindale was arraigned in West Roxbury District Court on charges of indecent assault and battery on a person with a disability and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon – a shod foot. Assistant District Attorney Adrian Bispham recommended $125,000 cash bail; Judge Kathleen Coffey imposed $12,500 bail but granted prosecutors’ requests for orders that Burke stay away from all children under 17 and all schools and playgrounds, except for an employment-related hearing on Jan. 3.
Burke is a paraprofessional employed at the Boston Community Leadership Academy on Metropolitan Avenue. On Friday afternoon, a witness there reported seeing Burke sexually assaulting the victim, a teenage boy, in a school restroom. When Burke saw this witness, he allegedly kicked the victim and told him to “hurry up.”
School staff notified Boston Police. Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit responded to the scene and, after a preliminary investigation, took Burke into custody. The investigation by Boston Police and prosecutors assigned to the DA’s Child Protection Unit is ongoing.
Burke was represented today by attorney David Shea.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.