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CHELSEA ASSISTANT CLERK MAGISTRATE SENTENCED AFTER CONVICTION FOR TWO CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A former Assistant Clerk Magistrate was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for using his official position to obtain sexual services from two women facing prostitution charges in Chelsea District Court, telling one woman he could help her with her case. Last month, JAMES BURKE, 42, of Chelsea, was convicted of two counts of deprivation of civil rights under color of law. Burke, who was sentenced today by Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr., was also ordered to serve one year on supervised release following his incarceration, and to pay a $2,500 fine.

During the trial, evidence showed that on two separate occasions, Burke used his official position to obtain sexual services from two women who were defendants in pending Chelsea District Court prostitution cases. More specifically, Burke, after indicating that he could assist one woman with her case, solicited oral sex from her after removing her from the lock-up area and taking her to a room in the courthouse. With regard to the second woman, Burke solicited her several times and finally, in February 2009, threatened to lock her up if she did not succumb to his sexual advances, which took place in a locked room in the courthouse.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Field Division, and Colonel Marian J. McGovern of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian T. Kelly, Chief of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.

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