exposing the dark side of adoption
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Accused Abusive Adoptive Parents Sentenced


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Seminole County couple learned their fate on Monday night in court for abusing their adopted children. Pamela and Dwayne Hardy were accused of starving and paddling a 9-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl, who they had adopted.

A jury convicted Dwayne Hardy in June, but Pamela Hardy pleaded no contest to both neglect and aggravated child abuse.

"The state seems to be insinuating that Dwayne and Pamela Hardy had some kind of heinous plan to hurt children. These injuries were from consistent discipline," the attorney of Dwayne Hardy said.

A jury found Dwayne Hardy guilty of neglecting his adopted children, shortly before his wife pleaded no contest to both neglect and aggravated child abuse of the two children.

The couple brought the two children into their Altamonte Springs home in 2010. On Monday, the Hardys were back in court to learn their punishment, but not before Dwayne Hardy took the witness stand.

"Absolutely, I'm remorseful. When we decided to go forward with the adoption of these children, it was our intention to enhance their lives," said Dwayne Hardy.

Prosecutors said that's not what happened. Both the children, who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, were taken off their medication and disciplined through a combination of dietary changes and corporal punishment.

Prosecutors said that the result came to the children eating from the trash. The children's current foster mother, who WFTV will not identify to protect her kids, read two short statements from the children.

"I've had nightmares every night and I hate it. Mrs. Hardy spanked me everyday until blood splattered on the walls," the foster mother read.

The judge sentenced Dwayne Hardy to two years and Pamela Hardy to 11 years in prison.

Fifty people came to support the Hardys in court on Monday as they were taken directly into custody and will serve probation at the end of their sentences.

2011 Aug 1