updated 12/28/2009 8:29:21 PM ET 2009-12-29T01:29:21

Brazilian doctors have decided not to immediately remove nine of the 31 needles found in a toddler's body because his life is no longer in danger.

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Doctor Roque Aras said Tuesday that the remaining needles are small and don't pose a significant threat. Aras isn't ruling out future operations, however.

The 2-year-old boy had his third surgery in 10 days on Monday to extract four needles from his neck. Doctors removed 14 more from his intestines, liver and bladder last week, and four from near his heart and lungs earlier.

Police have formally accused the stepfather, 30-year-old Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, of attempted murder. He recently said in a TV interview he tried to kill the child as revenge against his wife.

Police also formally accused Magalhaes' lover, 47-year-old Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos.

Stepfather drugged child, inserted needles
Magalhaes said he drugged the boy with a mixture of wine and water and had dos Santos hold the child down while he pushed nearly three dozen needles into the child's body. He said the boy was too drunk to cry while the needles were inserted, but felt pain after the alcohol wore off.

Magalhaes said he thought the needles would work their way through the boy's body and kill him without anyone discovering.

The needles were discovered on X-rays after the toddler's constant complaints led his mother to take him to a hospital.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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