Child porn charges against former Catholic school principal dismissed by judge in Nebraska

On Wednesday, a judge dismissed child porn charges brought against a man that was brought in connection with a nationwide FBI search. “This has been a long, painful process for the Burki family,” said his attorney, Steve Lefler.Judge Cheryl R. Zwart dismissed the charges against Marlan Burki.”On behalf of the Burki family, I’m thrilled for them,” said Lefler. “I’ve talked to Mrs. Burki, his wife, and of course, she is tearfully thrilled that her husband will be coming home to her.”Marlan Burki was principal at All Saints Catholic School from 2006 to 2018.The FBI sent out this wanted poster nationwide, asking for the public’s help identifying a man known only as “John Doe 42.” The FBI said the man may have “critical information pertaining to the identity of a child victim in an ongoing sexual exploitation investigation.”At least five former co-workers at St. Joseph School, where Burki worked as principal last year, brought the wanted poster to the attention of their principal, saying they believes it to be Burki.Two teachers at All Saints also stated that the voice on a video is that of Burki.Lefler said it’s a case of mistaken identity.”To develop a reputation as a great educator, a great administrator, somebody who loves kids, and then all of a sudden is accused of maybe the most heinous crime — boy, it’s been devastating to him,” he said. Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis, a longtime friend of Burki’s, testified in court it was not Burki.”I’ve looked at the picture, as well a lot of people who really know him and hey, that’s not Marlan,” Davis said. “I just know in my heart, if I really feel that’s not him, I can’t just stand by and not say something.” “If that’s not him, are they going to continue to look for the person that is on that flyer?” Davis asked. The judge dismissed the case against Burki without prejudice. Under federal law, prosecutors have 30 days since the arrest to file an indictment.”He’s the wrong guy originally, that hasn’t changed. He’s still the wrong guy. He ain’t John Doe 42,” Lefler said.The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it needs more time to investigate, writing, “At present, there is additional investigation which the Government seeks to accomplish before this matter is submitted for indictment including forensics analysis which needs to be completed on numerous locked devices. In addition, there is evidence, including digital evidence, which needs to be reviewed.””We’re not worried at all that they’re going to find anything,” said Lefler.The Archdiocese of Omaha sent a statement to sister-station KETV, saying, “The Archdiocese of Omaha is aware that the U.S. Attorney dismissed the Complaint against Mr. Burki, without prejudice. Mr. Burki and his family are supported by our prayers as they try to return to a life of peace and normalcy.”The Archdiocese of Omaha has no records of accusations against Burki while he was working at All Saints Catholic School.

On Wednesday, a judge dismissed child porn charges brought against a man that was brought in connection with a nationwide FBI search.

“This has been a long, painful process for the Burki family,” said his attorney, Steve Lefler.

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Judge Cheryl R. Zwart dismissed the charges against Marlan Burki.

“On behalf of the Burki family, I’m thrilled for them,” said Lefler. “I’ve talked to Mrs. Burki, his wife, and of course, she is tearfully thrilled that her husband will be coming home to her.”

Marlan Burki was principal at All Saints Catholic School from 2006 to 2018.

The FBI sent out this wanted poster nationwide, asking for the public’s help identifying a man known only as “John Doe 42.” The FBI said the man may have “critical information pertaining to the identity of a child victim in an ongoing sexual exploitation investigation.”

At least five former co-workers at St. Joseph School, where Burki worked as principal last year, brought the wanted poster to the attention of their principal, saying they believes it to be Burki.

Two teachers at All Saints also stated that the voice on a video is that of Burki.

Lefler said it’s a case of mistaken identity.

“To develop a reputation as a great educator, a great administrator, somebody who loves kids, and then all of a sudden is accused of maybe the most heinous crime — boy, it’s been devastating to him,” he said.

Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis, a longtime friend of Burki’s, testified in court it was not Burki.

“I’ve looked at the picture, as well a lot of people who really know him and hey, that’s not Marlan,” Davis said. “I just know in my heart, if I really feel that’s not him, I can’t just stand by and not say something.”

“If that’s not him, are they going to continue to look for the person that is on that flyer?” Davis asked.

The judge dismissed the case against Burki without prejudice. Under federal law, prosecutors have 30 days since the arrest to file an indictment.

“He’s the wrong guy originally, that hasn’t changed. He’s still the wrong guy. He ain’t John Doe 42,” Lefler said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it needs more time to investigate, writing, “At present, there is additional investigation which the Government seeks to accomplish before this matter is submitted for indictment including forensics analysis which needs to be completed on numerous locked devices. In addition, there is evidence, including digital evidence, which needs to be reviewed.”

“We’re not worried at all that they’re going to find anything,” said Lefler.

The Archdiocese of Omaha sent a statement to sister-station KETV, saying, “The Archdiocese of Omaha is aware that the U.S. Attorney dismissed the Complaint against Mr. Burki, without prejudice. Mr. Burki and his family are supported by our prayers as they try to return to a life of peace and normalcy.”

The Archdiocese of Omaha has no records of accusations against Burki while he was working at All Saints Catholic School.