US couple charged with abuse of adopted Russian girls

Date: 2011-07-02

(IANS/RIA Novosti)

A US court in Colorado state has charged the foster parents of three teenaged Russian girls of child abuse, a newspaper said.

Steven and Edelwina Leschinsky were sentenced to probation. They avoided jail after a plea deal with the court that involved cutting all ties with the girls, who were aged 12, 13 and 14 when the charges were filed, the Coloradoan reported.

The prosecution said the girls were punished daily by their foster parents, in a variety of ways "such as performing hundreds of push-ups over a nail-spiked board, running 45 miles in three days and getting choked to the point of vomiting with water from a garden hose".

The couple pleaded guilty to three charges of child abuse.

As part of the plea deal, they will have to comply with a variety of probation requirements,
including 400 hours of community service for the next four years.

Russia's ombudsman for children's rights said earlier that 17 Russian children have died in the US as a result of child abuse since adoptions began 15 years ago.

The latest official figures show that 60,000 Russia-children have been adopted by families in the US.

Russia suspended adoptions last year after a woman in Tennessee sent her seven-year-old adopted son back to Russia, with a note saying she did not want him as he was "psychotic".


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