By Jill Harmacinski
---- — LAWRENCE — Justin Ladd, the North Andover stepfather accused of torturing his two stepdaughters, was deemed a danger to the public today and remains held without bail.
Ladd, 33, of High Street, was arrested last week after the girls, now ages 14 and 16, told North Andover police and investigators with the state Department of Children and Families that they were tortured and abused over a 5-year span, from September 2008 to February 2013.
Court records said Ladd hit them with a hammer, pulled on their tongues with pliers and threatened to have them raped and killed by a motorcycle gang.
Ladd was arraigned last week on 21 criminal counts, including indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14, open and gross lewdness, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and intimidation of a witness.
During today's hearing at Lawrence District Court, Ladd was found to be too dangerous to be released on bail.
More later at eagle tribune.com and in tomorrow's Eagle-Tribune.