DEDHAM, Mass. — A man charged with abusing a dog so severely that it had to be euthanized is heading to trial nearly four years after the animal that came to be known as Puppy Doe was found barely alive on a playground.

Radoslaw Czerkawski (RAD’-oh-slaw zehr-KAW’-skee) faces multiple animal cruelty charges in the trial scheduled to start Tuesday in Massachusetts.

The case received widespread attention when the year-old pit bull mix was found in Quincy in 2013 with skull, spine and rib fractures, a stab wound to the right eye and a split tongue. The starving female dog was euthanized.

Czerkawski has pleaded not guilty and suggested youths he saw drinking in a park were responsible for the abuse. His attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message, but previously questioned the DNA evidence.

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