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U.S. Marshals Task Force Arrests FL Fugitive Tennis Coach Who Impregnated 16-Year-Old Student Then Fled to MA

For immediate release

Nichole Dugan, Senior Inspector

Middle District of Florida
Orlando, FL
(850) 377-2753

Orlando, FL – After 15 years, a Florida man accused of impregnating a minor has been taken into custody in Massachusetts.

The U.S. Marshals Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force (FCRFTF) was asked in March 2007 to assist the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office in the apprehension of a tennis coach who, charged with an unlawful sexual act with a minor and obscene material distributed to a minor, allegedly went on the run to avoid prosecution.

Mark Burns, then a widely known and respected private tennis coach, informed the parents of the victim that he was in love with her and that she was pregnant with his child. At the time, Burns and the victim had been at a tournament in Gainesville. The victim returned to Okaloosa County, and Burns went on the run.

The Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force (FCRFTF) worked the case from the beginning, sending out multiple leads throughout the U.S., but in the last 15 years, the case grew cold. After the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office recently rejoined the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) task force, they asked for assistance in revisiting the Burns investigation.

Investigators developed information that Burns was in Boston, Massachusetts, and sent a collateral lead to the U.S. Marshals there. U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) investigators located Burns in the Plymouth area, and on Thursday investigators took him into custody without incident. He was transported to the Plymouth District Court to appear on his Florida charges.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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