The sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman on the Riverwalk here in Lowell last summer was one of the more sick and alarming crimes I’ve covered during my career here in Lowell.
Truly random crime is very rare. This alarmed police so much I got a phone call about it at home on a Friday night from a detective. Police wanted to warn people.
Investigators also took the rare step of releasing their suspect’s photo before he was in custody. Police really wanted this guy locked up.
Lisa Redmond snapped this photo of Andrew Burke in Ayer District Court last week.
I was on the Riverwalk, talking to concerned joggers, when I got a cell phone call from Superintendent Lavallee informing me that Andrew Burke, of Lowell had just been found in Cambridge and arrested for the rape. The arrest brought and end to a week of police sweeps across the city seeking Burke.
Lisa Redmond reports from Lowell Superior Court today that Burke pleaded guilty to attempted murder, kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated rape. He was sentenced to 19 to 20 years in state prison, as you can read in this release from the District Attorney Gerard Leone.
I don’t often mention the outcome of court cases here in the blog, but this was a major story that scared a lot of people. I’m glad to see it’s over. Rot in hell Mr. Burke.