Piano Teacher Sentenced For Child Endangerment

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NEW BRUNSWICK – A Highland Park man was sentenced to serve three years in a New Jersey state prison for endangering the welfare of a 9-year-old girl, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced on Friday.

Franklin Jack Burr II, 64, also was ordered to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and was placed on community supervision for life. He was credited with 1,093 days he already has served in prison after he initially was found guilty, but later won a retrial.

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Burr was sentenced on Aug. 20 by Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick after being retried and convicted on June 1 of endangering the welfare of the child.

During the second trial that began on May 4, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christie L. Bevacqua presented evidence and testimony contending that Burr, a private piano instructor, improperly touched the 9-year-old girl on a number of occasions while giving her piano lessons in Edison between November 2002, and January 2004.

Burr was arrested and charged following an investigation by then-Sgt. Joseph Shannon of the Edison Police Department and Investigator Lisa Collins of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Burr initially was convicted in October 2004 of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of the child, and was sentenced to a six-year prison term.

He subsequently appealed the conviction and was granted the new trial in June 2008 by an appellate court, which ruled that the judge in the first trial improperly precluded evidence that Burr contends he has a medical condition known as Asperger’s syndrome.

The jury in the retrial was unable to decide a count charging Burr with sexual assault. A mistrial was declared on that charge, which will be retried at a later time according to officials from the prosecutor’s office. No trial date has been set.


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