North Mankato parents who starved adopted son get jail time

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After entering Alford guilty pleas last month, a North Mankato couple who starved their 8-year-old adopted son was sentenced Tuesday to serve time behind bars.

The Mankato Free Press reports Mona Hauer, 45, received 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to causing substantial harm to a child, a felony, while her husband, Russel Hauer, 45, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for pleading guilty to a gross misdemeanor count of child neglect.

Mona Hauer was taken into custody after Tuesday's hearing. Russell Hauer will begin his sentence once his wife is released. The newspaper reports the Hauers' sentences could be reduced to two-thirds with good behavior.

Criminal charges were brought against the parents last year after the 8-year-old weighed just under 35 pounds, about the average weight of 4-year-old, when he was taken to the hospital for vomiting blood.

According to the criminal complaint, Mona and Russell Hauer refused to feed the boy and had made him sit at the table and drink liquids while the rest of the family ate food.

Doctors told investigators that the boy's malnutrition caused delayed bone growth, a slow heartbeat, anemia and brain atrophy.

The Star Tribune reported the Hauers adopted the boy and two of his siblings from an abusive home in 2008. They also have one biological child.

Earlier this year, the couple lost their parental rights to the boy, but was allowed custody of the other three children with county supervision.

After comparing a photo of the boy from when he was taken to the hospital last year and a recent photo where his weight has doubled and he has grown nearly 8 inches while in the care of his foster parents, District Court Judge Allison Krehbiel said it was clear the Hauers deserved jail time, according to the newspaper.

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