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Who is Tom Burke? Ex-NFL star charged of sexually assaulting 7-year-old girl

The seven-year-old child is reportedly daughter of an unnamed woman who is said to have been in a relationship with Tom Burke
Tom Burke is accused of sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl (St Louis County Jail)
Tom Burke is accused of sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl (St Louis County Jail)

ST LOUIS COUNTY, MINNESOTA: A former NFL player and University of Wisconsin football star has been arrested and charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl. As per reports, Tom Burke — whose full name is Thomas Allen Burke — has been pressed with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in St Louis County, Minnesota.

The charges against the 44-year-old accused came after the victim reportedly confided in her mother, who is said to have been dating Burke. The child told her mother, whose identity has not been revealed, in February that Burke had inappropriately touched her on a number of occasions, a criminal complaint stated. She also accused him of performing oral sex on her. It has been reported that the little girl used to see Burke as a “father figure”.


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Later, the girl was interviewed at the First Witness Child Advocacy Center, where she repeated what she had told her mother. She reportedly broke into tears while giving details of five incidents of abuse with Burke. However, when Burke was interrogated, he denied the allegations and defended himself by saying he was being “railroaded”.

It has been reported that Burke was taken into custody on Friday, June 11, in Douglas County, Wisconsin. He waived his right to an extradition hearing and was put behind bars in the St Louis County Jail on $100,000 bail. However, he reportedly paid the bail amount and was out of jail on Monday, June 14.

Who is Tom Burke?

Born in Proctor and raised in Poplar, Burke reportedly played for the Arizona Cardinals from 1999 to 2002 as a defensive end. In 2020, he was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame after playing for the Badgers from 1995 to 1998, when he set the Big Ten record for most sacks in a single season with 22.

Burke was also associated with the Badgers' 1998 Big Ten championship team that won the 1999 Rose Bowl. And, as a high school senior, he was the Gatorade player of the year in Wisconsin. While  Burke reportedly has no past criminal history in Minnesota, he was convicted of a misdemeanor count of battery in Douglas County in 2008. Reportedly, if found guilty of the sexual assault charge, Burke could go behind bars for years. Under Minnesota state law, a first-time offender is expected to get around 12 to 14 years of prison time.

This comes a year after NFL star Antonio Brown was dropped by Nike over allegations of sexual assault against New England Patriots receiver. The 31-year-old has been accused of raping his personal trainer. In a statement, a Nike spokesperson said, “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete.” According to reports, at the time, the New England Patriots receiver was facing accusations in a federal lawsuit that he sexually assaulted Britney Taylor twice in 2017 and May 2018, he “forced her onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress and 'forcibly' raped her”. However, in April 2021, it was reported that Brown reached a settlement with his accuser. But a spokesperson for the NFL told PFT at the time, “The matter remains under review.”