DELI CLERK CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ABUSE OF TWO BOYS
Joseph Burkett, a 41 year old clerk at a Setauket deli with a history of sexually abusing children, has been charged with molesting several boys, at least one of whom he met on the MySpace Web site, after using the Internet to lure them to his Sound Beach home. Burkett, of Shinnecock Drive in Sound Beach, was arrested June 14 and charged with two counts of using a child in a sexual performance, one count of committing a criminal sexual act and one count of sexual abuse. Officials have identified five male victims, all between the ages of 12 and 14. Burkett pleaded not guilty Friday and was held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond.
Burkett's criminal history in New York goes back to 1986, when he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and got three years' probation. In 1988, he was charged with first degree sodomy but later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of felony sexual abuse. He served six months in Suffolk County jail. Burkett was not a registered sex offender because his conviction predated Megan's Law. Police request that anyone with further information about these incidents call CrimeStoppers at 800-220-TIPS.
Burkett pleaded not guilty on June 26 to new charges that he sexually abused two boys and took explicit photographs of them. He was arraigned on an indictment that includes charges of sodomy, possessing a sexual performance by a child, using a child in a sexual performance and endangering the welfare of a child.