A former Arizona Cardinals player has been arrested and charged with first-degree sexual conduct on a 7-year old girl. According to Fox 21 News in Minnesota. Tom Burke was arraigned in Duluth, Minnesota and denied any sexual contact with the child as he claimed he was being "railroaded," according to the Duluth News Tribune.
The criminal complaint states that the alleged assaults were first reported to authorities on February 21 when the 7-year old told her mother "something that's been a secret." The victim reportedly indicated that Burke had been performing sexual acts on her. She was then interviewed at the First Witness Child Advocacy Center, and authorities said the girl began to tear up and indicated she did not like talking about it before she revealing details of the alleged incidents.
Freaking disgusting!https://t.co/Gn9MA8qVOx— TPS (@TotalProSports) June 15, 2021
Burke's bail is set at $100,000. The prosecutor said he "does not believe that any type of supervised release is appropriate," citing Burke's residency across state lines and a suspected "higher-than-average ability to pay bail." Burke's next court date is on July 6, and if convicted he could receive 12-14 years in prison.
Burke, 44, played defensive end on the Cardinals from 1999-2002. He was drafted in the third round overall by the team and played in a total of 36 games in four seasons. He finished his NFL career with 81 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one fumble recovery.
Most college football fans know Burke for what he did with the Wisconsin Badgers. In 1998, Burke was named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year after recording 22 sacks in the 12 games, which is still a conference record.
"Burke was a beast, and he was just that good," said offensive tackle Aaron Gibson, a former Badgers teammate. "If you want to get better, you need somebody like him to go against every day. There's that whole myth that you're brothers and friends on a team. Not with Burke. He was coming and he was coming full-speed and he was coming strong and hard every time in practice. Every single person he went against he made better because he didn't come slow, he didn't loaf."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.