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St. Petersburg man arrested in decades-old child sex abuse case

ST. PETERSBURG — A 65-year-old man accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a child almost 40 years ago was arrested Wednesday morning after the victim, now an adult, came forward, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

Now deputies are asking other potential victims to come forward.

Deputies said Earl Carson Burdick, of 4438 58th Ave. N of St. Petersburg, abused a boy from age 7 to 16.

The boy was in his care at the time, deputies said. Then on Sept. 13, the now-46-year-old wrote deputies in a letter that Burdick forced him to engage in sexual acts. Sheriff's officials did not say what led the victim to come forward after four decades.

Pinellas sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said that Burdick worked as an air conditioning technician and as a shrimper, occupations that would not have led to regular contact with children.

But Burdick could have still abused other acquaintances, she said, which is why the Sheriff's Office is hoping that if there are more victims out there, they'll come forward.

"Our detectives believe that perhaps there are other victims out there," Barreda said. "We're asking anyone with information about him to come forward."

Burdick was arrested on a charge of sexual battery on a child less than 12 years old. He was being held without bail Wednesday in the Pinellas County jail.

Detectives ask anyone with information to contact Detective Richard Heaton of the Crimes Against Children Unit at (727) 582-6200 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

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St. Petersburg man arrested in decades-old child sex abuse case 10/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 4:10pm]
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