Towanda man faces 5,118 sexual abuse charges

01.21.14 | Bob Price

A Towanda man was charged Tuesday with thousands of sexual abuse charges in connection with assaults that occurred over a 21-year period.

Towanda Borough Police charged Donald C. Burrell, 55, of Maple Street, with 2,870 counts of rape, 2,248 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and eight counts each of child pornography possession and photographing a child in a prohibited sexual act.

Burrell is accused of victimizing a girl from 1991, when she was 7 years old, to 2012.

Burrell was in the news last May when he was hospitalized after an assault, and a Troy man was sought on attempted homicide and related charges.

The man wanted in the assault, Blake Dieffenbach, now 26, pleaded guilty in September. He was sentenced in November and is held in Camp Hill State Correctional Facility in Cumberland County, court records show.

Police said they became aware of the sexual abuse allegations during the investigation into the assault.

Burrell on Tuesday was also charged with 25 counts of delivery of a controlled substance and a count each of possession of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police said Burrell was responsible for distributing at least 700 grams of bath salts between 2011 and 2013.

Burrell was arraigned in district court and sent to Bradford County Correctional Facility on $2.2 million bail.

A preliminary hearing is pending in district court.