SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Shepherdsville man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a young female relative and recording it on his cell phone.
Jeffrey Burke, 35, abused the girl for 2 and a half years from the time she was 10- years-old to 12-years-old. Before he was sentenced on Thursday afternoon, he read a statement in court.
“Your honor, the fact that I’ve imposed such suffering on someone that I love, guide, am responsible for is grounds for me not to exist anymore. I’ve agreed with that and am accepting that. It’s only recently that I’ve been pushed to feel otherwise. I hate myself for what I’ve done and I would give my own life if that would undo it,” he said.
Burke begged the court for a chance to start over saying, “All I need is one chance, your honor, because identifying causes brings understanding and I swear to you, this will never happen again.”
His mother took the stand and described her son as kind, peace loving and gentle. “Jeff is not one of those emotionless predators who lives only to collect victims,” she said.
The abuse came to light after the victim’s mother found a thumb drive. On it was cell phone video Burke took of the abuse. Video that even shocked the judge.
“I can truthfully say, I’ve never seen anything like that. Not in the years I’ve practiced law,” Judge Rodney Burress said.
Burke sat with his head bowed while the victim’s mother described her daughter’s pain. “She’s scarred,” she said through tears, “She is scarred for life, she is devastated.”
The judge gave Burke the maximum sentence of 20 years. He will not be eligible for parole until he’s completed the Sex Offender Treatment Program.