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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Jail Time for Adoptive Parents

APTeresa Hansen and her husband, Reed, center, being sentenced on Monday.
PROVO, Utah -- A U.S. couple accused of beating and starving their two adopted Russian children have been sentenced to probation in a case that could further inflame tensions over foreign adoptions in Russia.

The couple also is required to pay $35,000 into a trust fund for the two children, who now live with other families.

A Utah court on Monday sentenced Teresa Hansen, 41, to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines, which will be imposed if she does not complete two years of probation and pay money into the trust fund. Reed Hansen, 38, was sentenced to six months in jail and $2,000 in fines with the same requirements.

The Hansens were accused of withholding food as a form of punishment, beating the children with a wooden stick and forcing one to sleep in a bathtub without a blanket or pajamas.

The brother and sister were 4 and 5 when the charges were filed.

They are 7 and 8 now and live with new adopted families, are doing well in school and are happy and healthy, Utah County Deputy Attorney Sherry Ragan said.

The Hansens also have three biological children, of whom they still have custody.

Teresa Hansen's attorney, Mike Esplin, said last week that the Russian siblings had different medical needs and problems that the Hansens did not fully know how to deal with and that they perhaps took too long to look for solutions.

He said he believed the parents still loved the two children and were eager to help support them through the fund.

The children can use the money for college at age 18, and whatever money remains will be turned over to them at 25.

Prosecutors have said they were satisfied with the plea agreement, which spared the children a lengthy trial and provides for them financially.

The trial on felony charges was to start Monday. The plea agreement to reduced charges was reached Thursday.

Foreign adoptions have come under fire in Russia in recent months after U.S. courts convicted adoptive parents of killing two Russian children. Following the deaths, a number of influential Russian lawmakers demanded that a moratorium be imposed on all foreign adoptions.