Former Florida coach found working for cult after being on the run for 15 years for sex crimes, deputies say

WKRG News Channel 8, Florida/October 31, 2022

By Kimber Collins

Shalamar, Florida — A former tennis coach in the Shalimar area has been on the run for 15 years following sexual activity allegations involving a 16-year-old girl.

The girl’s mom reported Mark Burns in March 2007 after he told the woman he planned to marry her daughter.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office went to Burns’s house on March 15, 2007, to find he had fled the area and had not been seen since.

OCSO said Burns was located and arrested in Plymouth, Mass. on Oct. 27, 2022. The now 70-year-old man will be extradited to Okaloosa County.

OCSO said U.S. Marshalls and the fugitive task force found him working at a deli under the 12 Tribes cult. The cult is known for having different communities that are self-governed, living on the coast of Plymouth.

Burns faces a list of charges including unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

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