Minnesota couple accused of starving 8-year-old keep custody of other children

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A Nicollet County judge Friday ruled that a North Mankato couple accused of starving their adopted 8-year-old son will temporarily retain parental rights of their three other children, KARE-TV reported.

Russell and Mona Hauer were charged last month with six felonies, including neglect after they brought the boy into the doctor because he vomiting blood, according to a criminal complaint.

The complaint alleged the boy was just under 35 pounds at the time, and the parents refused to feed him because the Hauer's claimed he had "issues" with food. KARE reported that they boy -- who was about the size of a 4-year-old -- had not eaten solid food for two months and sometimes snuck out and ate rotted food from the family’s compost pile, and also ate food from the bird feeder.

In Friday's hearing to terminate parental rights, Judge Todd Westphal imposed strict conditions on the Hauers regarding their three other children, two girls and a boy between ages 5 and 1o, including a mandate of full access to their property by a Guardian ad Litem and county Social Services agents.

The groups will also serve as primary care providers for the children, and the Hauers cannot engage in any corporal punishment of the children.

A trial to determine termination of their parental rights is set for January, KARE reported.

The 8-year-old, meanwhile, will stay in foster care. He has gained 15 pounds and grown two inches, prosecutors said.

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