Local News

Suspect, out on bond, charged again with rape

Posted November 24, 2008 6:37 p.m. EST
Updated November 24, 2008 7:52 p.m. EST

— 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.