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Dancer Cheryl Burke was molested as a child

Burke later found herself in court testifying against the retired mailman after he was arrested for trying to sexually assault Burke's stepsister and her friend
/ Source: E!online

"Dancing With the Stars" champ Cheryl Burke is opening up about the childhood molestation inflicted upon her at the hands of a so-called family friend.

"It was lots of touching," she reveals in the latest issue of People magazine (and reported by the New York Post ) while discussing the retired mailman who did odd jobs around her house and was often asked to pick her up from school when she was just 5 years old.

"He would pull my pants down in his van or he would touch me in the living room while [Burke's caregiver] Ima was in the kitchen cooking," she reveals. "I knew what he did was wrong, but I wanted this older man's affection."

Burke found herself in court a year later testifying against the man after he was arrested for trying to sexually assault Burke's stepsister and her friend, calling having to take the stand "the scariest moment of my life."

He was eventually convicted and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison, but has since been released -- something that, understandably, has proven difficult for Burke.

"It creeps me out," she says. "My worst nightmare is to run into him. Not until he dies will I be able not to worry."

Burke's dark past is just one of the many personal subjects she shares in her upcoming autobiography "Dancing Lessons," due out Feb. 8.

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