TOWANDA — A community in Bradford County is reacting after learning that a resident faces thousands of counts of rape.
The abuse involves a woman who says it went on for 20 years, starting when she was 7 years old.
Donald Burrell of Towanda is the man accused of rape and sexual abuse of a child.
According to court papers, Burrell used a calendar to keep a tally of how many times he abused his victim.
Burrell, 55, of Towanda is locked up in Bradford County. His bail set at $2 million. he faces more than 5,000 charges including rape and sexual abuse of a child.
Burrell lived in an apartment house on Maple Street in Towanda. Neighbors say they were shocked when they heard about the sheer number of charges.
“I haven’t heard of that many in a while, so I was surprised. They’re going to get him on something. He’s not going to get out of all of them, I don’t think,” said neighbor Steven Miller.
There was no answer when we knocked on the door at Apartment 1. According to court papers, that’s where Burrell was living at the time of his arrest.
Burrell’s residence is just feet from the St. Agnes School.
“He’s going to get in a lot more trouble than normal because he was in a school zone, but I don’t know,” Miller said.
Court papers say the investigation into Burrell started in May of 2013 when Burrell was beaten up inside his apartment while selling the drug bath salts.
People in Towanda tell Newswatch 16 he was a known drug dealer.
“I guess the way he was making his money was off bath salts,” said Michael Cook. “That’s the best way to put him is calling him an idiot. Well, there’s a lot worse you can call him.”
“We’ll see how the outcome goes when he goes to trial. I might have to go watch it, see how it turns out,” Miller added.
In addition to the rape and other sex charges, Burrell is also charged in connection with his alleged drug dealing. He is expected to be back in Bradford County court on January 31 for a preliminary hearing.