A 33-year-old man pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing Tuesday to 13 felony counts stemming from allegations that he beat his girlfriend and her two sons over an eight-month period.
Edward Colucci faces multiple counts of robbery, first-degree kidnapping, child abuse and neglect, and battery.
Henderson authorities have called the allegations one of the worst cases of abuse they have seen.
Colucci is accused of punching and smacking his girlfriend’s 5- and 8-year-old sons. He is accused of force-feeding the 5-year-old to vomit and forcing the boys to take cold showers and eat dry Ramen noodles covered with salt, raw garlic and onions.
On one occasion, authorities allege, he forced the 5-year-old to drink a glass of salt water he had spit in. On another, Colucci sprayed eyeglass cleaner in the boy’s eyes, authorities allege.
Police learned of the abuse after they were called to Colucci’s Lake Las Vegas apartment Nov. 22 in response to a report of an unconscious 5-year-old boy.
Defense attorney Bret Whipple on Tuesday invoked his client’s right to a speedy trial. A trial was scheduled for March 7 before District Judge Elissa Cadish.
Colucci is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center .