U.S. couple accused of abuse of Russian girls avoid jail

A U.S. couple accused of abusing three sisters adopted from Russia will not serve jail time but will relinquish their parental rights under a plea deal, the Coloradoan newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Edelwina and Steven Leschinsky were arrested in March 2010 and charged with abusing the adopted daughters, now aged 15, 13 and 12, by beating them with belts and pieces of wood and forcing them to do exercises for hours on end as a punishment for bad behavior.

The case follows a stream of incidents involving the mistreatment of adopted Russian children in the United States that have incensed the Russian public and led to U.S.-Russian negotiations on regulating adoptions.

Last year a 7-year-old boy arrived alone at a Moscow airport carrying a note from his U.S. adoptive mother, who claimed he was “psychopathic.”

Russia is one of the largest sources of foreign adoptions for U.S. families, accounting for about 10 percent of foreign adoptions.

MOSCOW, May 10 (RIA Novosti)

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