Grand Jury hands down 56 True Bills of Indictment
Fifty-six True Bills of Indictments were handed down against Christopher Burk of Franklin on Monday after a special called session of the Macon County Grand Jury was conducted.
According to Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland, investigators with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and State Bureau of Investigation provided testimony against defendant Burk during the session that resulted in 56 of 56 True Bills of Indictment being handed down by the Grand Jury.
Burk, who is still being held at the Macon County Detention Center, was served Monday evening with all of the indictments which included 30 counts of first degree sexual exploitation of minor; nine counts of indecent liberties with a child; six counts of sexual offense with a child by an adult; three counts of attempted rape of a child by an adult; two counts of crime against nature; two counts of felony child abuse (sexual act on a child); two counts of attempted incest of a child under 13 year of age; and two counts of attempted felony child abuse.
According to the indictments, the charges against Burk have three named victims to date, all of which were eight years old or younger on the date of the offense. The latest charges in the case span from May 2010 until January of this year.
“My officers continue to do a tremendous job and while these are difficult cases for even the most seasoned officers, I have confidence they will be thorough and remain professional as they seek justice on behalf of not only the the youngest citizens of our community but especially those children involved in this case,” said Sheriff Holland. “We fully intend to seek additional charges against Mr. Burk in the coming weeks as detectives continue to sift through the evidence they have collected.”
Deputies have now served Burk with all the indictments at the Macon County Detention Center where he has been held on the original 11 charges related to crimes against children. Burk’s bond of $500,000 has now been increased to $1.5 million and he remains incarcerated.
The latest charges in the case are the result of an investigation involving countless video and photography files found on several computers seized from Burk's home and vehicle.
According to court records, investigators have found video evidence in which Burk filmed himself committing the acts he is being charged with on three minor female children.
Burk, who has previously served in Macon County as a youth league athletics coach, became the subject of an investigation by MCSO on March 11 after a friend of Burk's eight-yearold daughter told her mother that Burk had sexually abused her.
Burk was initially arrested on April 12, and has remained in custody.
Burk's criminal history
While charges against Burk date back to events in May 2010 in Macon County, his criminal record begins before that in Florida. The Macon County News found that he had been arrested in Volusia County, Florida in 1991, and charged with two felony counts of lewd or lascivious act in the presence of a child and aggravated assault.
According to records obtained by The Macon County News from the Volusia County Clerk of Courts Office, Burk was arrested on Oct. 28, 1990, for unlawfully and knowingly committing a lewd or lascivious act in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years old. The records state that Burk revealed himself to be completely naked in a public roadway in front of an 11-year-old and two nine-year-olds.
The records show that Burk was also charged with revealing himself completely naked again on Dec. 26, 1990, to a nineyear- old victim.
He was also charged with aggravated assault for the intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to Lisa Filipello by threatening to hit her with his automobile in connection to the Oct. 28 charge of lewd or lascivious act in the presence of a child.
According to court records, Burk pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered to complete pre-trial intervention by Florida Judge Richard B. Orfinger. Pre-trial intervention can be assigned for various reasons and according to the Florida Department of Corrections is defined as “any individual whose offense meets criteria defined in 948.08 is eligible for the pretrial intervention program. Approval of the administrator and the consent of the victim, the state attorney, and the judge hearing the case are required in order to formally accept the offender into the program. If the offender completes the conditions of the program which could include restitution to the victim, counseling and/or community service, then the State Attorney's Office will not prosecute the case. Failure to successfully complete the program shall result in the continued prosecution of the case by the State Attorney's Office.”
Burk successfully completed the Judge's orders on June 28, 1994, and the case was closed. Because he completed pre-trial intervention, there was no criminal record for Burk when he moved to North Carolina and no law requiring him to register as a sex offender.
The MCSO will continue to review the evidence seized from Burk's residence and more charges may be forthcoming.