EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

July 27, 2013

Police say Salem woman sought to protect her boyfriend

Police say woman sought to protect her boyfriend

SALEM — A Salem mother has been charged with lying to doctors and police to protect her boyfriend after her 11-month-old son was hospitalized with serious injuries consistent with being lifted by his hair last year.

Lidia Rodriguez, 21, of 1000 Loring Ave., pleaded not guilty to a charge of witness intimidation during her arraignment Friday in Salem District Court, where Judge Matthew Machera ordered her held on $2,500 bail.

Her boyfriend, Jose Luis Rodriguez III, 27 — who in 2011 was charged with biting the 5-year-old son of another girlfriend — remains under investigation by police. He’s currently being held on unrelated drug charges at the Middleton Jail.

If Lidia Rodriguez makes bail, she will be confined to her home and monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet, the judge ordered.

Her children have already been returned to her custody since the incident.

Prosecutor Alex Grimes, who had sought a far higher bail of $10,000, said Lidia Rodriguez took her son to North Shore Children’s Hospital on March 30, 2012, because he had swelling and bruising on his head.

She offered doctors, and later police, an account of how the boy had been suffering chronic ear infections and was fussing in his crib. She said she put him on her bed, but he rolled over and fell on top of a PlayStation game console, which, she said, belonged to a friend she knew only as “Tony.”

Doctors were skeptical. The baby was suffering severe swelling of his scalp, which had filled with blood between the skull and the skin, pushing his ears out, and he had two black eyes, Grimes told the judge. The baby suffered so much internal bleeding that he became anemic, said the prosecutor.

The boy was also found to have injuries to his neck.

Police were also concerned that the account was not truthful, after a search of the apartment revealed that the bed was simply a mattress on a carpeted floor.

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