A Thatcher firefighter was charged in federal court Wednesday with having sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl he allegedly met on Facebook.
Bo Brady Burdick, 20, was charged with one count of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual contact, according to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court in Idaho.
Authorities allege the relationship started in February 2011 when Burdick sent the eighth-grader a friend request on Facebook. After the girl accepted the request, she learned that Burdick was a 20-year-old firefighter and EMT in Utah, charging documents show. The documents list Burdick, who has no felony criminal convictions, as an employee of the Thatcher-Penrose Fire Department in Box Elder County.
Despite the age difference, investigators allege the pair sent each other emails and text messages and that Burdick asked the teen to send him nude photos of herself, which she did even though she later told investigators it made her uncomfortable, charging documents show.
Investigators said they recovered photos of the girl posing nude as well as in bikini underwear.
Messages between the pair indicated the girl feared at one point that Burdick wanted her "as like a sort of sex toy," charging documents show.
In late June or early July 2011, the teen told police that Burdick traveled to New Meadows, Idaho, to visit her. She said she went back to a hotel room with him so he could "change his socks." As they sat on the bed and talked, authorities allege the teen told Burdick that she shouldn’t be in the room with him because she was only 13, but said Burdick just "went for it," grabbed her, started kissing her and the two had sex, court records said. After the encounter, Burdick allegedly told the girl he was sorry "and what he did was wrong" because she was 13 and he was 20, the complaint alleges.
When the teen’s mother found out her child was allegedly communicating with Burdick, authorities said she took away the girl’s phone. Investigators allege the Burdick gave the teen one of his own phones and the two continued to communicate in secret. The girl’s father found out the alleged relationship was continuing after she fell asleep one night with the phone Burdick gave her. When her parents confronted her, she spilled the details of their alleged relationship, charging documents show.
Federal authorities said when they questioned Burdick on Tuesday, he admitted to having sex with the 13-year-old at least four times.
Investigators also say the teen may not have been the first Burdick allegedly had a relationship with. Tremonton police allegedly told federal investigations that in November 2010, Burdick, then 19, had allegedly had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl there, charging documents show. The girl was pregnant, but not certain who the father was, police told investigators.
Police said when they questioned Burdick in December 2010, he told them he and the 14-year-old had had sex four times, federal court documents allege. Police allegedly informed Burdick at that time that the age of consent in Utah was 16. No criminal charges have been filed in relation to that investigation.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.