A D.C. Superior Court judge has given a maternal aunt temporary custody of the year-old boy whose mother abandoned him Columbus Day on the playground of a Northest Washington church.

In a closed hearing Monday, Judge Sylvia Bacon awarded temporary custody of Billy Philpot, the abandoned infant, to Sharon Darby, his mother's oldest sister. A final decision on permanent custody of the child will be made on Dec. 16. No charges have been filed against the mother, 21-year-old Donna Posey.

During the brief hearing, Posey stood by silently. Billy was not the first child she had abandoned, Posey told The Washington Post last week.

Two years ago she left her 8-month-old daughter in a bathroom of another Northeast church. Like Billy, custody of the girl was given to Darby.

Billy was found crying in the playground of the Pilgrim Baptist Church at about 3 p.m. Columbus Day by a neighbor. The woman gave the baby to the police, who in turn took it to St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home in Hyattsville.

The next day, after seeing Billy's picture on television, Darby identified the boy and his mother.

Posey told The Washington Post that she knew "what she did was wrong and I shouldn't have done it, but I had a good reason for doing it. . . .I know I should have learned from [the first time], but I just have problems.

"It's not like I planned it or anything, I just sort of decided to do it, I guess."