Thursday, May 17, 2018

Michael Burgund: Belleville, Illinois; False confessions? Belleville News-Democrat reports that, "The retrial of Michael Burgund, who once walked into a police department and confessed to molesting toddlers - before there had been any investigation or allegations against him - will go to the jury Thursday for the second time."..." Burgund walked into the Alton Police Department and confessed to molesting two toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3. Up until that point, there had been no investigation or allegations against Burgund, and police later testified that it was odd for someone to walk in and confess to such a serious crime. Charges were filed quickly, but Burgund later recanted, alleging that he never abused the girls. He said he was coerced into his confession by their mother, who he said had brainwashed him and tricked him into believing he had abused the children."

PASSAGE OF THE DAY:  "The trial took place in 2013 before then-Circuit Judge Ann Callis, and the older child testified against Burgund. Callis excluded testimony from witnesses who the defense said would have corroborated that Burgund was highly suggestible and easily led. Burgund was convicted of five counts of predatory sexual assault and sentenced to life in prison. But the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon overturned the conviction and granted him a new trial. In its decision, the appellate court said the girl’s testimony was vague, that medical evidence was inconclusive, and that Callis should have permitted the psychological testimony. The second trial began last week, with two days necessary just to pick the jury. Once again, Burgund faces five counts of predatory sexual assault of a child. Burgund testified in his own defense Tuesday. “I started doubting my own reality,” he said, according to the Alton Telegraph. “I had come to believe that I had done those things. I thought it was truer than what I thought was true." Burgund testified that he was repeatedly told he had molested the children, although he had no recollection of doing so. He said the girls’ mother “ruled over him” and would not allow him to look at other women or billboards with women on them. He alleged she threatened him with a knife, cut his arm and blackened his eyes 20 times, according to the Telegraph."

STORY: "Retrial nears end for Alton man who confessed to molesting 2 toddlers, later recanted," by reporter Elizabeth Donald, published by The Belleville News-Democrat on  May 16, 2018.

SUB-HEADING: "The retrial of Michael Burgund, who once walked into a police department and confessed to molesting toddlers, will go to the jury Thursday for the second time.