Dillsburg-area man guilty of badly injuring toddler


Jurors on Thursday afternoon found a Dillsburg-area man guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend's young son.

Joshua Steven Perry, 23, of 1521 Baltimore Road in Franklin Township, was convicted of aggravated assault, a first-degree felony, and misdemeanor child endangerment, according to senior deputy prosecutor Chuck Murphy.

The jury deliberated a little more than two hours before agreeing on a verdict, he said.

The boy — who was 18 months old at the time and is now nearly 2-1/2 — has lasting injuries, Murphy said.

"He's going through therapy, and it's a long road until they know exactly what damage was done, because of how young he was and how young he still is," the prosecutor said.

Partial paralysis: The toddler suffered a subdural hemorrhage; subsequent brain swelling caused some paralysis at the time, according to Murphy, who said the boy still has restricted movement of his left side.

Hershey Medical Center Dr. Kent Hymel testified against Perry at trial, and detailed the victim's injuries for jurors.

Hymel's opinion was that the injuries were caused "from some type of whiplash type movement where the head was rotated violently in a back and forth movement or from an impact of the head where the brain continued in motion, or a combination of the two," according to court documents.

"Dr. Hymel made it clear (the child) will have brain damage," Murphy said. "It's just a matter of the extent of it."

Attorney George Matangos, who represents Perry, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Perry remains in York County Prison awaiting sentencing, set for Oct. 27, according to court records. Murphy said state sentencing guidelines call for a minimum prison sentence of between three and 4-1/2 years.

What happened: Court documents indicate the boy was taken to Holy Spirit Hospital on Oct. 28, then transported to Hershey Medical Center in critical condition.

He was having intense seizures and needed to be heavily sedated and put on a respirator, police said.

Perry was alone with the child for about nine hours when the injuries happened, according to Murphy.

Medical staff also noted bruises and bite marks on the child that appeared a week earlier, again while Perry was watching the boy, according to documents filed by Northern York County Regional Police Detective Bill Haller.

"Perry advised (that the boy) must have bitten himself and (said) he had fallen out of his crib to explain the other injuries," documents state.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.