Fifth person charged over abuse of girl, 3 A fifth person has been charged over the brutal abuse of a 3-year-old girl, who remains in a drug induced coma in Auckland's Starship Hospital. Today police said the toddler may have permanent brain damage after three weeks of horrific abuse at her Rotorua home. The Daily Post reported today that the the girl was allegedly tied to a clothesline and spun around, put in a cold bath and then in a tumble dryer. Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Loper said the extent of the injuries would not be known for some time, and brain damage was a possibility. "She is still dangerously ill but the injuries are no longer life threatening." Mr Loper said the little girl came very close to dying and the abuse was about as serious as it could get. "It is really serious. The poor little thing has nearly died. The abuse is not a one-off or doesn't appear to be a one-off. It is very serious."