KENSINGTON - A former emergency medical technician facing charges he sexually assaulted three children and possessed hundreds of child sexual abuse images is looking to split the case into two trials.
Attorneys representing Todd Burnim, 54, filed a motion at Rockingham Superior Court to have one trial for the 12 aggravated felonious sexual assault counts and two felonious sexual assault charges and another one for the 15 counts of possession of child sex abuse images.
"It is not alleged that any of these images depict (the alleged victims) nor is it alleged that Mr. Burnim ever showed (the alleged victims) any of the discovered images," stated Burnim's public defender Emily Jessep in a court motion to sever the cases.
Rockingham County Attorney Pat Conway opposed severing the sexual assault charges involving the three victims into different trials in a separate court filing. However, she did agree in the same filing the possession of child sex abuse images should be tried separately.
The case is currently scheduled for trial in February.
Burnim was arrested after a two-hour standoff with Kensington police on Jan. 18 on charges that he molested three children under the age of 13 between 2012 and 2019.
Kensington Police Chief Scott Cain previously said that based on the evidence they found during the investigation, police believe Burnim drugged his victims before engaging in criminal sexual behavior. Burnim, who served as an EMT for Kensington and East Kingston fire departments, had recently worked at Action Ambulance Service, according to the Kensington police.
Previous reporting:Ex-EMT charged with drugging, sexually assaulting children: Fourth accuser comes forward
Court filings reveal new details
New details of the case were revealed in the recent court filings.
Burnim is accused of sexually abusing one child from the age of 6 to 12 years old and another from the age of 9 to 12. A third child was sexually abused in 2017 for a period of a few weeks.
According to court documents, one child described Burnim giving her "green liquid from a syringe" that tasted like an apple as well as a small white pill that would make her sleepy before the alleged assaults.
Another child said Burnim gave her sips of green liquid that tasted like apples and "gas that came in a white package and looked like whipped cream but wasn't whipped cream."
"The defendant would make (the alleged victim) wear an oxygen mask and administer the gas into the mask while she was wearing it," stated Conway in court documents
"… After inhaling the gas and drinking the liquid, (she) would become dizzy and sometimes pass out. (She) remembers waking up undressed and having no idea how she became undressed."
Police executed a search warrant on Burnim's home on Jan. 19.
According to court documents, police found white pills in a clear plastic baggie in the kitchen as well as bottles of medicine and pills in a safe inside the closet of the master bedroom. They also recovered two syringes from the nightstand in Burnim's bedroom and multiple boxes of whipped cream aerosol-nitrous oxide canisters, commonly known as "whippets."
Police also seized sex toys, a digital camera, multiple cell phones, multiple hard drives, a laptop and a desktop computer.
800 child sex abuse images allegedly found on computer
Conway stated in court documents a forensic examination of the electronic devices seized at Burnim's home revealed 800 child sex abuse images on a hard drive on the desktop computer. Five images were also found on a mobile phone and another five on external drives.
The state, according to court documents, picked 15 images to use as the subject matter for the 15 counts of possession against Burnim.
Burnim's defense attorney argued the charges should be tried separately as the assault charges are not related to the possession charges and would be "highly and unfairly prejudicial" if presented to a jury.
Conway agreed in a court motion because the state, at this point of time, "has been unable to identify any of the found images as the (alleged victims in the case)."
A large portion of the images, according to court documents, contained sexual abuse committed against infants and toddlers. There was also a number of images of an adult engaged in sexual acts with a female child or female children.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: New details revealed in case of EMT charged with molesting children