Couple pleads not guilty in case of woman locked in shed

LANCASTER, Calif. -- A California couple has pleaded not guilty to torture, abuse and false imprisonment in the case of a woman found locked in a storage shed behind a Los Angeles County home.

Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, says the couple pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

On Sept. 22, sheriff's deputies responding to reports of screams found a 54-year-old woman locked in the shed in the Mojave Desert city of Lancaster. The woman was described as malnourished, with fresh and old wounds.

The woman's brother, 61-year-old Elias Abdurahman, and his girlfriend, 50-year-old Sara Tadesse, were charged in the case.

Abdurahman's attorney didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday. Calls to Tadesse's attorney's office rang unanswered.

The couple is due for a preliminary hearing Nov. 19.
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