By Shannon Corrigan
After appearing in court without an attorney Thursday, a judge postponed preliminary hearings for the father and stepmother who are accused of the forcing the man's daughter to live in the basement of their home, denying her sufficient food, reports the Star Tribune.
The severely malnourished 15-year-old girl weighed 70 pounds when she was rescued. She told investigators that the most food she ate were scraps she found on the ground or in the garbage, ABC News reports.
She said she was forced to live in the basement with no bathroom, and had to relieve herself in boxes or containers. If she made a mess while doing so, "they will make me eat it or drink it or rubbed it on my face," she said ABC News reports.
The girl's father and stepmother were charged with child abuse, child neglect and reckless endangerment. The stepbrother was charged with sexual abuse and two counts of sexual assault.
Preliminary hearings were scheduled for Thursday, but after state public defender's office said neither father nor stepmother qualified for free representation, Judge Amy R. Smith agreed to postpone the hearings, the Star Tribune reports.
Her stepbrother waived his right to a hearing, the Star Tribune reports.