Skip to main content

Charges: Wisconsin star, former NFL player sexually assaulted Minnesota child

The child told her mother about the assaults in February, charges say.
tom burke

A former NFL player and Wisconsin football star is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl on multiple occasions.

Thomas Allen Burke, 44, of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in St. Louis County, Minnesota. 

According to the criminal complaint, a mother called 911 on Feb. 21 saying her 7-year-old daughter told her Burke had sexually assaulted her multiple times.

The next day, the First Witness Child Advocacy Center conducted a forensic interview with the victim, who tearfully explained Burke, who was like a father figure to her, sexually assaulted her at least five times at her home in southern St. Louis County, charges explain. 

In an interview with investigators, Burke denied the accusations, saying he thought he was being "railroaded" and the victim's mom was out to get him, the complaint says. 

He did confirm he was often in a caretaking role for the victim, and investigators confirmed that during the times the victim was assaulted her mom was often working, charges say.

Burke was arraigned on Monday in Duluth, during which his bail was set at $100,000, the Duluth News Tribune says. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 6.

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter 

Burke, who was raised in Poplar, Wisconsin, about 20 miles from Duluth, and went to Northwestern High School in Maple, Wisconsin, was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020

He played defensive end for the Badgers from 1995-1998, including when the Badgers won the Big Ten championship (the team went on to win the 1999 Rose Bowl). He set the Big Ten record for sacks with 22 when he was a senior.

Burke went on to play defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals from 1999-2002. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-31 at 9.18.37 PM

Bed, Bath & Beyond closing 86 more stores, including in Bloomington

The struggling chain closed a store in St. Cloud last year.

Andy Trowbridge

Tributes to KARE 11 sports producer who has died at age 35

KARE says Andrew Trowbridge died following a 'brief illness.'

LoganSlackDakotaCoJail

Man pleads guilty to murder of Inver Grove Heights father

Michael Chang-Beom Lee, 43, was killed during a burglary at his home.

Eggs at Hy-Vee

Price comparison: How much do eggs cost at Twin Cities grocery stores?

Prices have been spiking, so where can you find the cheapest eggs?

KwonFloodFOX9

FOX 9 promotes Hannah Flood to anchor, adds new reporter

Hannah Flood will co-anchor mornings while Se Kwon joins the team.

Carjacking pursuit in Little Canada

Watch: Suspects drive wrong-way on I-35E, before carjacking separate vehicles

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the suspects are still at large.

RestaurantFireSTP

St. Paul restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire

The fire department said the fire is considered to be "accidental."

Lake Superior.

MPCA: Minnesota's emissions fell by 23% between 2005 and 2020

Clean energy investments have driven the decline.

Dave Durenberger

Former U.S. Senator for Minnesota Dave Durenberger dies at 88

Durenberger served two terms before his disgraceful exit in the mid-1990s.

Related

mark kosloski - chisago county jail

Former volleyball coach charged with sexually assaulting a player

Mark Kosloski was a coach at North Lakes Academy for six years, resigning in February for personal reasons.

Bryan Ellinger

Former Ren Fest supervisor pleads guilty to sexually assaulting 3 teens

The three victims worked with Bryan Ellinger at the time of the assaults.

kevin belker

Charges: Bloomington school employee sexually assaulted kids in the 1970s

Five victims have come forward alleging Kevin Belker assaulted them when they were kids.

police lights

Minneapolis dance teacher charged with sexually assaulting his student

The suspect assaulted the teenage boy during a sleepover at his home, charges say.

dennis hannuksela (1)

Duluth man on parole for murder charged with kidnapping, sexual assault

He's accused of tackling the woman, tying her wrists and sexually assaulting her on a logging road in St. Louis County.

Anoka Middle School for Arts

Former Anoka school teacher pleads guilty to sexually assaulting teen boys

The assaults occurred between 2010-2019, court documents say, when the boys were as young as 14.

Bryan Ellinger

Charges: Trail of Terror supervisor sexually assaulted 3 teenage employees

Bryan Ellinger was arrested in January accused of raping a 15-year-old employee. Two more women have come forward accusing him of sexually assaulted them as teens.

u.s. attorney's office

Charges: Red Lake man with knife sexually assaulted victim

He's also charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.