Ogden man sentenced to 242 years in prison for serial rapes

Mark Douglas Burns. Photo: Davis County

FARMINGTON, Utah, April 6, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Mark Douglas Burns, known  locally as “the Clearfield Rapist,” was sentenced Monday to life in the Utah State Prison for rapes around the western U.S.

Burns, 69, was sentenced to 14 terms of 16 years to life and three terms of six years to life — 242 years — to be served consecutively.

In February, Burns had pleaded guilty to first-degree felony charges of:

  • Eight counts of aggravated sexual assault
  • Six counts of aggravated kidnapping
  • Two counts of aggravated burglary
  • Aggravated robbery

Burns was arrested at his Ogden home on Sept. 25 of last year after investigators used familial DNA to link him to eleven rape cases in Utah and Wyoming between 1991 and 2001.

Clearfield Police Chief Kelly Bennett said at the time that DNA specialist Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter was key in developing a DNA profile that led to a distant relative of Burns. That breakthrough led to the discovery of a man believed to be a closer relative of the suspect. That man provided a DNA swab, which confirmed him as the half brother of Burns.

Burns, a longtime trucker, was arrested upon his return from a trucking run. He was booked into the Weber County Jail.


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