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Child Exploitation

ICE arrests Chicago man wanted in Korea

Korean authorities believe Chicagoan molested 4 young boys while teaching there in 2010

CHICAGO – A local man who is wanted by Korean law enforcement authorities for allegedly molesting four young boys while he was working as an English teacher in Daegu, Korea, was arrested Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).

Michael Timothy Burke, 56, of Chicago, is the subject of an international warrant issued on July 9, 2010, by the Daegu District Court of the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea has requested that Burke be formally extradited to face charges of indecent acts through violence or intimidation against children under age 13, as contained in the Korean Criminal Act.

According to the extradition complaint filed in federal court Feb. 24 in the Northern District of Illinois, an investigation by Korean authorities revealed that in the summer of 2010, Burke was working as an English teacher at an elementary school in Daegu, Korea. On July 3, 2010, two students reported to their homeroom teacher that they had been sexually fondled by Burke. On July 5, 2010, Burke was banned from teaching at the school, and he left Korea two days later.

Further investigation by Korean authorities revealed that Burke had allegedly molested four 11- and 12-year-old boys at the elementary school during June and July 2010. According to the complaint, the alleged acts against the boys involved improper sexual contact, including fondling and touching.

"This case is an excellent example of how HSI works closely with our international law enforcement partners to identify fugitives who are wanted for crimes committed abroad," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago.

The investigation leading up to Burke's arrest was conducted by HSI Chicago; HSI Seoul, South Korea; USMS; and the Daegu, Korea, Metropolitan Police Agency.

Burke is currently in USMS custody. He is scheduled for an extradition hearing in U.S. District Court on March 2.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.