Riverwalk attacker gets 19 to 20 years in prison

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.

8 responses to “Riverwalk attacker gets 19 to 20 years in prison

    • I debated whether it was too much, but I went with it since he pleaded guilty. I have to remain unbiased on issues of guilt. I have to be fair to all sides of a story. But Burke admitted to one of the most disturbing crimes I’ve ever covered. I don’t think I have to hide my opinion of how awful what he admitted to was.

      I can also see your point, though. Thank you for the reminder.

      Some stories do get through and make me angry. I have to remain fair even when they do.

      I’m going to leave that comment in this entry, but I’m also going to leave your comment calling me out on it.

      It’s always tempting to go with opinions and feelings instead of facts. I appreciate the reminder that I need to remain professional.

  1. Hope the s***bag gets the same respect @ Cedar Junction-or wherever he gets shipped to-that he showed that lady on the Riverwalk last july!

  2. No worries Rob when.he gets to jail.he’ll be wearing the lipstick Hubbard gonna get him good Rot he will the suckbag

  3. I don’t think your anger or comments are off base. I feel the same way. I stopped walking the riverwalk after this crime. Horrifying. Good job reporting.

  4. Wow looking at this picture compared to the other didn’t even know it was him,didn’t think he was going to get that much jail time thought it was more assault then anything and they wouldn’t be able to really prove attempted murder or rape,I didn’t follow the case my cousin lives there&had told me bout it well guess he’s got plenty of time to get the crazy knocked outta him

    • Would you be posting those casual ‘observations’ if your wife,girlfriend,mother,aunt,or sister was the victim of this s***bag that you appear to be absolving of any responsibility? Use your brain!

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