- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A man and woman have pleaded not guilty in the child abuse case of a 3-year-old girl who Mesa police say was malnourished, bound with duct tape, kept in a closet and offered for sex.

Authorities say police found the girl at 30-year-old Francisco Javier Rios-Covarrubias’s apartment two weeks ago. Court documents show he told police the girl had been in his “care and control” for several weeks.

The girl’s 22-year-old mother told police she didn’t know about the alleged sexual activity that occurred at Covarrubias’ apartment.

The Associated Press generally does not name sexual abuse victims and is not naming the mother to avoid identifying the child.

Covarrubias was charged with multiple counts, including child abuse, kidnapping and sexual conduct with a minor. The mother faces child abuse charges.

Both entered not guilty pleas Tuesday.

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