Tom Burke -- one of the best Univ. of Wisconsin football players ever -- has been charged with a felony after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl.
According to court documents, obtained by TMZ Sports, the girl came forward to authorities in February 2021 alleging the 44-year-old was inappropriate with her on as many as 5 different occasions at her home in Minnesota.
For his part, the docs show Burke told investigators he flat-out denied the allegations ... saying he believed he was being "railroaded."
Burke, however, did confirm he was a caretaker for the girl ... according to the docs.
Officials ultimately hit Burke with a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct in wake of the girl's allegations, and issued a warrant for the former football player's arrest earlier this month.
Burke was eventually taken into custody and posed for a mug shot. He had a court hearing Monday in the case, and is due back for another hearing in early July.
If convicted, Burke is facing up to 30 years behind bars, court documents show.
Burke was a megastar for the Badgers from 1995 through 1998 -- famously logging a staggering 22 sacks in his senior season.