The latest victim of the “Wooded Rapist” to testify recalled for a jury Wednesday how her shock and disbelief turned to prayers and cries.
Robert Jason Burdick is on trial for raping a then-29-year-old woman in the early morning hours of Feb. 18, 2000, at her Tusculum Road home, while the victim’s mother and three children were feet away in other rooms.
Prosecutors began questioning the victim around 11 a.m. Wednesday, after her mother had testified and been cross-examined by Burdick’s defense team. The daughter was expected to be back on the stand for cross-examination Wednesday afternoon.
On the stand, she described how she and her mother were bound with plastic ties and how their eyes were covered with duct tape. Although the two women were still in the same room, they couldn’t see each other. They spoke to each other, encouraging strength — until the man who wore dark clothing, a dark jacket and a ski mask struck the younger woman on the back of the head.
That’s when she said she realized “I should probably be quiet.”
Moments later, the man — now without his mask and gloves — led her to her bed, removed her clothes, tried to kiss her, told her it would be "the best she ever had," and raped her.
The victim testified that her attacker told her he knew her husband, whom she was divorcing at the time.
Asked if Burdick resembled a man similar to the one who raped her, she said, “His face, his mouth … the way I was kissed — all fits with what I remember.”
According to testimony, the woman awoke earlier at the sound of her mother’s scream, and when she checked on the cause, she saw the intruder with her mother before running back into her bedroom, locking the door and trying to call 911, only to find the phone was dead.
Asked what happened next, she said, “Prayer happens next. Nobody teaches you what to do when 911 doesn’t work.”
The woman said she opened her locked bedroom door out of concern for her mother, who said through the door, “Honey, he’s got a gun.”