Local News

Suspect, out on bond, charged again with rape

Posted November 24, 2008

— A man accused of raping a former Duke student last year is in jail again, charged with the same crime against a different woman.

The first victim's father says the new charge could have been prevented if bond had been set higher in the case involving his daughter.

Michael Jermaine Burch was charged in February 2007 with the second-degree rape of a Duke freshman in a bathroom during a party at a residence at 405 Gattis St.

After getting out of jail on a $50,000 bond, Burch was arrested again Nov. 14 on charges of second-degree rape, first-degree sex offense and felony aiding and abetting.

"I'm mad at the judge," the first victim's father said Monday. "I'm mad at the judge, because my daughter left Duke fearing this gentleman. And if an 18-year-old could sense that, why couldn't a grown-up?"

At the time, the judge's order was consistent with bond guidelines. They were revised in March after a series of cases in which suspects who had bonded out of jail were charged with committing new crimes.

Second-degree rape now carries a suggested bond of $500,000.

However, the former Duke student's father says it is too late.

"My heart totally, totally goes out to her and her family," he said of the latest rape victim.

Burch was in the Durham County Jail Monday evening under a $1.85 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 8 on the new charges.

The former Duke student's father said his daughter had to leave Duke following the crime against her and transferred to a university in another state.


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  • familyfour Nov 25, 2008

    Isn't that nice. My post this morning wasn't nice enough about the rapist to make the cut....dang. Oh well, what's one more disappointment today?

  • rargos Nov 25, 2008

    Why is this news? We've known for a long time that the only way to be denied bail in this country is to actually kill someone : rape and other violent crimes (even multiple offences) aren't enough for our bleeding-heart society to lock people up.

  • something2say Nov 25, 2008

    This sounds eerily familiar! Someone needs to take a look a the books and make sure all bonds are set higher for violent offenders! Please stop letting these guys out and then put off their court dates for years at a time!!! The victims deserve to deal with the trial asap!

  • mbs Nov 25, 2008

    First degree rape is the charge where a weapon is used or a child under thirteen is the victim.

    Second degree rape involves force, but without the use of a weapon.

    I just looked this up in the NC Statutes

  • turdferguson Nov 25, 2008

    Unfortunately there is financial motivation for judges to set attainable/low bail, especially if a city is having budget problems. A fair amount would keep him in jail until trial, but then the city would miss a free loan for the number of years it took to reach trial. It's equally unfortunate that in Durham voters don't seem to hold these judges accountable.

  • Sessy V--V Nov 25, 2008

    this makes me sick........ thats to our WONDERFUL judicial system this had to happen again.

    lock em up and toss the key


  • Sleepy20_98 Nov 25, 2008

    50k is such a JOKE, wonder what the bond would have been had the 1st victim been a friend/relative of this "judge"? Anyone out on bail for rape, who turns around and commits the same crime should be considered a "serial" rapist in the making and treated accordingly! I.E. sent to the chair after being subjected to many hours of repeated prison gang rape himself....

  • Stephinnc Nov 25, 2008

    I agree with
    "someone, please tell me what is 2nd degree rape? is there a charge of 1st degree rape? I do not believe even when put in jail that is sufficient for the crime, cause they probably rape someone in prison to keep the tool active. Part of the sentence should be castration! Also, we need to take the luxury out of the penal system. Pink underwear, balogna sandwiches, disney channel only. Eduardo1"
    Our Justice system is a joke sometimes, he should have done some time for the first one. I would want him dead if it were my daughter.

  • twc Nov 25, 2008

    While this story is fresh in the news guess what the naacp is doing. They're appealing for a meeting with the UNC President to discuss hateful language.

    It appears to me they should be meeting with the Duke President to see what can be done to make students safer from violent attacks--not just hateful speech.

    They could have a much-needed impact by addressing these charges against this man by condemning attaccks such as these. But I guess they have a more important agenda!!

  • Justin T. Nov 25, 2008

    If at first you don't succeed... rape, rape again.

    Why do we continue to have revolving door justice? Stop letting these guys out who are predators. Every study I've read shows that the chances of rehabilitating sex criminals are slim and none.