Man whose life sentence was overturned now out on bail

The man who confessed to raping two toddlers is now out on bail, after his conviction was overturned.

Michael Burgund, 33, of Alton, was found guilty in 2012 of five counts of predatory sexual assault. Burgund had walked into the Alton Police Department and confessed to molesting two girls, then ages 1 and 3, by sexual penetration.

Burgund later recanted and said he was manipulated by the girls’ mother into believing he had done it. But the jury did not believe him, and he was sentenced to natural life in prison.

During the trial, then-judge Ann Callis had disallowed the testimony of a psychologist who would have testified that Burgund was easily manipulated. In November, the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon overturned Burgund’s conviction on the basis that the testimony in his favor should have been allowed at trial. The case was then sent back to Madison County for a new trial.

Last week, Burgund appeared before Madison County Circuit Judge Kyle Napp, who set bail at $1 million. That required a cash bond of $100,000, which Burgund’s mother posted the same day. Officials at the Madison County Jail confirmed he had posted bail and was released.

Prosecutor Crystal Uhe had argued for no bail, stating that while the conviction was overturned, Burgund would have little incentive to comply with court appearances, since money for his defense was being raised by family and friends.

Defense attorney Curtis Dawson, however, said Burgund is a lifelong resident of Madison County and should be presumed innocent, since his conviction was thrown out and he has no other criminal history.

Napp added conditions to Burgund’s release: he is to have no contact with the children or their mother, and may not be alone with any minor children without another adult present.

The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office has declared its intent to retry the case. The trial is tentatively set for Dec. 4.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald