ESCANABA - A mother and her boyfriend, both accused of torturing and sexually abusing her son in Escanaba, are scheduled to appear in Delta County District Court this week.
Susan Marie Bardo, 46, and her boyfriend, Carl James Pellinen, 47, were arrested in April for first-degree child abuse, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and torture. The abuse of Bardo's 15-year-old son allegedly occurred for four years at their Escanaba residence.
Bardo and Pellinen remain lodged in Delta County Jail without bond and are scheduled for a preliminary examination at 9 a.m. Thursday. The district court proceeding will take place in the probate courtroom because of its larger size.
During a preliminary hearing, evidence including witness testimony and exhibits are presented to the district court judge to determine if there is probable cause a crime has been committed and if the defendants were involved. If so, the charges are forwarded to circuit court where the defendants may make a plea or go to trial.
On April 12, Escanaba Public Safety officers went to the house where Bardo and Pellinen resided because a relative of the boy asked officials to check on the child's welfare. Police found the teen living upstairs in an 8-by-10-foot room made out of tarps.
After being interviewed at the police department about his living conditions, the child was transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital for a medical evaluation. Since then, he has been under the care of Child Protective Services.
The felonies of first-degree child abuse, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and torture each carry a maximum punishment of life in prison.