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Wife of alleged child molester sentenced to 5 years

Marian Burbine, 48, of Wakefield, second from left, stood beside her attorney Richard Doyle and listend as she was sentenced to five years in prison for recklessly placing six young children at risk of sexual abuse by her late husband, accused child molester John Burbine, through her unlicensed child care programs.

Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Marian Burbine, 48, of Wakefield, second from left, stood beside her attorney Richard Doyle and listend as she was sentenced to five years in prison for recklessly placing six young children at risk of sexual abuse by her late husband, accused child molester John Burbine, through her unlicensed child care programs.

WOBURN — One father wrote that John Burbine’s abuse of the man’s 1-month-old son had “irreparably changed our lives,” and that he and his wife remain riddled with guilt. She quit her job to care for her son full time, unable to leave him with anyone else. They said they hoped their son was too young to remember what was done to him.

Burbine’s wife “let a sexual predator into our home,” the father wrote in an impact statement delivered Monday in a Woburn courtroom, where Marian Burbine was sentenced to five years in prison for recklessly endangering children.

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Earlier this month, Marian Burbine pleaded guilty to placing six young children in the sole care of her husband through her unlicensed child-care program, despite knowing his history of assaulting children. That left the children “at substantial risk of sexual abuse,” prosecutors said.

RELATED: Safeguards failed, so evil got another chance

John Burbine, who was accused of molesting 13 infants and young children from 2010 to 2012 in a horrifying pattern of abuse, died in March after a suicide attempt in jail.

“Thankfully, that monster is dead,” the grandfather of two victimized children wrote in an impact statement, one of several read aloud by a prosecutor. “However, there remains one equally evil monster living among us.”

Prosecutors said that Marian Burbine, of Wakefield, knew her husband was a convicted sex offender who had also been accused of sexually abusing young boys in 2005 and 2009, yet misled parents into allowing her husband to take her place on babysitting jobs.

“She literally fed her husband a buffet of children,” prosecutor Katharine Folger told a hushed courtroom, before several relatives of the abused children.

In one instance, Marian Burbine assured a couple “she alone would care for” their three young children. But on the first night she was scheduled to watch the children, John Burbine arrived at the family’s home in her place, saying his wife was sick.

For the next several weeks, John Burbine provided overnight care for the children, continuing to say that his wife was ill. Burbine sexually assaulted all three children, according to prosecutors.

Marian Burbine was also sentenced to 10 years of probation and was prohibited from contact with children under 16. She was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

She will be eligible for parole in two years. In their impact statements, relatives called for her to serve the full sentence as punishment for her crimes.

“The extent of the damage is unquantifiable,” one parent wrote. “Marian willfully endangered my children.”

Marian Burbine, 48, has shown “absolutely no remorse,” she wrote.

Burbine did not deliver a statement. Her lawyer, Richard Doyle, said she “has a great deal of remorse for what has happened.” Doyle said Burbine agreed to plead guilty to spare families the burden of a trial.

The victimized children ranged in age from 8 days old to 3½ years old. They were from Stoneham, Medford, Newton, Reading, Melrose, Woburn, and Waltham.

One mother, whose son is now 3, said she thinks of what happened to him every time she gives him a bath. She asked for a severe sentence, urging the judge to consider the “irreversible damage” that had been done.

“Marian Burbine is responsible for bringing a child molester into our home,” she wrote. “This will never go away for us.”

More coverage:

Sex offender, accused in 13 molestations, dies

Safeguards failed, so evil got another chance

Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com.
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