A couple in Iowa was arrested and charged with neglecting and mistreating two children they adopted from Ghana while treating their other five children much better.
Ghana, an English-speaking country in West Africa, has some of the easiest adoption rules in Africa.
Kenny Fry, 42, and Kelly Fry, 40, were found guilty of neglecting, starving and forcing the brother and sister aged 8 and 9 years old to live in deplorable conditions. They were arrested in the summer of 2018. In late July 2019, they received a deferred judgement.
The couple escaped jail time but were slapped with a two-year probation sentence, 100 hours community service and a fine of $12,500 after striking a plea deal that involved other serious charges being dropped, according to Metro.
The children, who doctors said showed signs of malnutrition, said they were forced to eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and spend the entire day in a single bare room with just a plastic mat, blanket and a bucket they used as a toilet.
They also told social service workers about an alarm that would go off every time they tried leaving their room after which they were punished by being forced to do push-ups and squats.
The kids were rescued after a neighbor heard them crying to be let back into the house after being locked outside in 15-degree weather.
An Iowa judge said in the ruling that the light sentence was because the couple was taking steps to right their wrongs by attending counseling and helping with the children’s placement in transitional homes, according to WHO-TV.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 33: Dr. Gina Paige
Jamarlin talks to Dr. Gina Paige about African Ancestry, the company that used DNA to pioneer a new way of tracing African lineages and helped 500,000+ people reconnect with their roots.