Mother didn’t know boyfriend’s history

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By Jenny Hartley

The mother of the 1-month-old allegedly abused by the live-in boyfriend said she had no idea her boyfriend was a sex offender.

William Joseph Burdick, 27, of 214 S. York St., was charged by the Lancaster Police Department on Tuesday with inflicting great bodily injury upon a child.

Katie Roddey, mother of Victoria Roddey, said her infant is at Carolinas Medical Center with bleeding on her brain.

Victoria stopped breathing on her own Thursday, and was placed on a ventilator, Roddey said. She was having seizures about every 15 minutes. She spent Friday going through an MRI. She has bruises on her head, arms, neck and under her arms.

Doctors: Baby shaken

Police haven’t said how Burdick hurt the baby, but doctors have told Roddey that Victoria is suffering from shaken-baby syndrome, which is often indicated by bleeding on the brain and behind the eyes.

According to a police report, Burdick said he had accidentally scratched the baby, and the baby’s upper lip had a large cut, as if she had been hit on the mouth.

Burdick, who is not the father, told police that the baby may have bruised herself, the report said. When questioned further, Burdick said he may have picked the baby up too roughly.

Burdick is a registered sex offender in New York.

When sex offenders move out-of-state, they are required to register with the sheriff’s office of their new home county. An offender can be charged with failure to register.

Inflicting great bodily harm upon a child, a felony, carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. A first offense for failure to register as a sex offender carries a mandatory 90-day sentence.

Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tom Holland said deputies have requested a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender against Burdick and are waiting to hear if a magistrate will issue it.

Burdick remains at the Lancaster County Detention Center. His bond has been denied.

Mother: Burdick had anger problems

Roddey said Burdick, who she’s had a relationship with on and off for the past few years, had problems with alcohol and anger management. But he had never directed that anger toward Victoria or Roddey’s 3-year-old son before.

She said she didn’t know Burdick was a sex offender until a detective told her as she waited in the Springs Memorial Hospital emergency room.

“I wish I had known,” Roddey said. “I would have never let him get close to me or my children.”

Doctors aren’t sure about Victoria’s prognosis yet, although they’ve said infants can be very resilient after a brain injury.

“There will definitely be some developmental delays,” Roddey said. But the extent of those delays won’t be known until Victoria reaches the age of certain milestones, such as sitting up and rolling over.

“All we can do is pray right now,” Roddey said.

Roddey will also be waiting to hear when Burdick has a court date, so she can be there.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or (803) 283-1151