updated 12/23/2009 5:45:07 PM ET 2009-12-23T22:45:07

Doctors on Wednesday removed 14 more needles from the body of a 2-year-old Brazilian boy who was stuck in what his stepfather has said was a murder plot to spite his wife.

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Police on Wednesday formally filed attempted murder charges against the 30-year-old stepfather, Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, and his lover, Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos, 47.

Doctors successfully operated on the toddler in the northeastern city of Salvador to remove needles from his intestines, liver and bladder. They took out four rusty needles from near his heart and from his lungs last week.

Susy Moreno, a spokeswoman for Ana Nery Hospital, said the boy was recovering well from the three-hour surgery in an intensive care unit.

Magalhaes recently said in an interview with Globo TV that he tried to kill the child as revenge against his wife, with whom he fought a lot.

Magalhaes said he drugged the boy with wine and had dos Santos hold the child down while he pushed needles into the body. He said the boy was too drunk to cry while the needles were inserted, but felt pain after the alcohol wore off.

Police said the person suspected of preparing the wine mixture was being investigated as an accomplice.

Magalhaes said he thought the needles would work their way through the boy’s body and kill him without anyone discovering. But the pain eventually led the boy to complain to his mother and X-rays revealed needles throughout his body.

Doctors said another surgery is scheduled for next week to remove needles lodged in the boy’s back, near his spine.

Also Wednesday, police in northern state of Maranhao detained a man for allegedly inserting seven needles in the body of his 2-year-old son in August. Police were investigating the circumstances of the case. Two of the needles have already been removed.

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