Mother who allegedly walked in on husband molesting daughter now faces felony charge

Months after allegedly catching her husband inappropriately touching her daughter, a Cameron mother now faces a felony child endangerment charge.

Last week, Clinton County District Attorney Brandi McClain filed a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child against Cortney Burandt, 37, of Cameron, which is the exact charge her husband - James Burandt - originally received after a third party reached out to the Cameron Police Department last August. 

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Cameron Police Department Det. Steve Smith, Cortney Burandt reported she had gone to her bedroom and opened the door to find the child, referred to as Victim 1, with Burandt inside the bedroom with the lights off. During an interview with Cortney, she advised the victim had stated, “Thank you for saving me, Mommy. Now I’m safe.”

The investigation began after another victim, referred to as Reporting Party 1, contacted the CPD regarding a series of sexual assaults that occurred over a four-year period ending when she turned 12. Smith stated Burandt would have her send explicit images via text. If she did not cooperate, then he would get mad and make her feel guilty. Smith later stated the texts provided by Reporting Party 1 dated back to January of 2022. While speaking to police, Reporting Party 1 said she had been in contact with her juvenile brother, who told her his mother and father were fighting after the mother discovered her daughter with Burandt. 

Cortney Burandt allegedly ran afoul with the law when she did not contact the police after more than 24 hours since she walked in on her husband. Det. Smith transcribed a recording of a conversation between the husband and wife. Omitting explicit language, Burandt allegedly told her husband “I should probably be on the phone with the cops, right?” 

Following James Burandt’s arrest, a source close to the family reached out to the Citizen-Observer to cast doubt on Cortney Burandt’s story, and requested to remain anonymous for the safety of the children.

“The reason she doesn’t have custody of them right now is because she got failure to protect,” the source said. “... She had caught him doing this before, and didn’t say anything. She kept him in her house, kept him around her daughter. The night this happened, she told them to go back to sleep in the same house as him. She had 24 hours to go to the police, and she didn’t.”

McClain later charged James Burandt with felony counts of child pornography possession. He currently resides at the Clinton County Jail on a $525,000 bond. Cortney Burandt will appear for her arraignment December 5. 

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