DULUTH — A former professional football player from northwestern Wisconsin is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl in St. Louis County, Minn.

Tom Burke, 44, was arraigned Monday in State District Court in Duluth on a count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Burke, a former Northwestern High School star who went on to play for the Wisconsin Badgers and the Arizona Cardinals, has been living in Rice Lake, Wis. A warrant was issued for his arrest June 8. He waived extradition to Minnesota on Friday after being arrested in Douglas County, Wis.

Thomas Allen Burke
Thomas Allen Burke

A criminal complaint states that alleged assaults were first reported to authorities Feb. 21, when the 7-year-old victim disclosed to her mother "something that's been a secret." The victim, who was known to Burke, reportedly indicated that Burke had been performing oral sex on her.

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A forensic interview of the victim was conducted at First Witness Child Advocacy Center the following day. Authorities said the girl began to tear up and indicated she did not like to talk about it before going on to give several details of the alleged incidents. The complaint states that she described as many of five incidents involving oral sex or touching of her genital area.

Burke, when interviewed, denied any sexual acts toward the victim and explained that he thought he was being "railroaded," the complaint states.

Senior Judge Gary Larson set Burke's bail at $100,000 in accordance with a request from Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Jon Holets.