Charges have been dropped against a Surprise couple accused of abusing their two daughters, ages 12 and 13.
The case was dismissed without prejudice, according to a Maricopa County Superior Court spokeswoman Wednesday, meaning the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has the option of refiling charges. The office is continuing its investigation, according to Jerry Cobb with the MCAO.
Authorities originally charged the 35-year-old biological father with four counts of child abuse and three counts of sexual conduct with a minor, among other charges. The children's 44-year-old stepmother faced three counts of child abuse and one count of failing to report the neglect of a minor.
Surprise police asked the media not to identify the couple by name or display their booking photos because of the ongoing investigation.
The girls claimed the alleged offenses date back to 2009, according to court documents.
The 13-year-old victim told police her younger sister had eaten some chocolate from the freezer then blamed her, according to a probable cause statement.
The 13-year-old said when her stepmother found the missing chocolate, she used the round part of a black ladle to hit her in the mouth while she was in her bedroom, the court document stated.
The girl said her dad took off his belt and started beating her and then grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head into the wall. The girl said she was then thrown into the garage, where she stayed for two days, according to the documents.
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