Phoenix couple enter pleas in child abuse case

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by The Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 9:06 AM

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix couple indicted on child abuse charges involving their 14-year-old daughter have entered not guilty pleas.

Police say the malnourished girl was locked in a bathroom without running water for two months, beaten with metal rods, and forced to exercise until exhaustion because her father said she had stolen food and cheated on a home-school test. The girl reportedly escaped from the bathroom through the attic and rode her bike to a coffee shop, where a worker called police.

Authorities say 33-year-old Scott Bass and 31-year-old Andrea Bass, who is the girl's stepmother, were arrested Feb. 4 on charges of child abuse, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

A Maricopa County grand jury indicted the couple last week on three counts of child abuse and one count of kidnapping. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges during their arraignment Monday.

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