Man faces sentencing in abuse case

ESCANABA – An Escanaba man who admitted he abused a boy for years will be sentenced in Delta County Circuit Court today. The child’s mother was sentenced to up to 50 years in prison on similar charges last week.

Carl James Pellinen, 47, was arrested on April 12 along with his girlfriend, Susan Marie Bardo, 46, of Escanaba. They were each charged with three felony counts in connection with the abuse of Bardo’s 15-year-old son since 2007.

In June, Pellinen pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse and pleaded no contest to first-degree criminal sexual conduct. His sentencing on the two life felonies is set for 2:30 this afternoon.

Bardo pleaded guilty in June to torture and first-degree child abuse. She was ordered to spend 20-50 years in prison during her sentencing in circuit court on Aug. 13.

The charges were the result of an investigation by Escanaba Public Safety, which was notified by a relative of the child to check on the boy’s welfare.

Police reports and testimony revealed the victim was kept 22 hours a day in an upstairs bedroom made from plastic tarps. For a period of time, he was bound to a chair with tape or rope. The child received one meal a day, sometimes two. He was threatened to be hurt or shot if he went outside. The boy was also sexually abused.

During Bardo’s sentencing last week, Judge Stephen Davis went above the sentencing guidelines recommendation of 17.5 years incarceration. Instead, Davis ordered a longer prison term of 20-50 years due to “serious psychological injuries” suffered by the victim.

Bardo also was ordered to pay $266 in fines and costs and told to have no contact with minors, the victim, the boy’s caregivers, or Pellinen.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections’ offender tracking website OTIS, Bardo is lodged at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in downstate Ypsilanti where her earliest release date is April 11, 2033.

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