Police: 3-year-old girl kept in closet, offered for sex

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Police in a Phoenix suburb say they’re investigating a child-abuse case in which a 3-year-old malnourished girl was bound with duct tape, kept in a closet and allegedly offered for sex by a man babysitting the child.

Mesa police say the man was arrested Monday, along with the girl’s mother, who allegedly shaved her daughter’s head to get money by claiming the girl had cancer.

The girl was hospitalized in fair condition and placed in temporary state custody.

Police say 30-year-old Francisco Rios Covarrubias was arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking and other crimes, while the girl’s 22-year-old mother was arrested on suspicion of child abuse.

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

The suspects remained in custody Tuesday. A police spokesman didn’t know whether they have attorneys who could comment on the allegations.

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