FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)- The parents of three adopted girls from Russia will not go to jail after pleading guilty to child abuse. As part of the plea agreement, Steven and Edelwina Leschinsky are banned from having any contact with their adopted daughters, but stay out of jail.
The girls are now 12, 13 and 15 and staying with other family members.
One of the three girls spoke in court on Friday, while the prosecutor read letters from the other two describing the punishment and discipline given by their mother, Edelwina, or Winnie, as their father did nothing to stop it.
They claim Winnie forced them to complete thousands of pushup, run for miles and sometimes shoved a hose in their mouth, which made the girls feel like they were drowning.
At least two dozen family members were in court to support the girls in the child abuse sentencing. Many of them took the stand to testify against the couple.
“There’s no question what happened to those girls. There’s documentation and everything. They’re not liars,” said relative and current caregiver Dee Leschinsky.
Defense attorneys said while the discipline was sometimes too severe, it never amounted to torture.
“It’s very misleading. This case is the result of fabrication, exaggeration and deception by these three girls,” said Winnie Leschinsky’s Attorney Scott Robinson.
Winnie and Steven Leschinsky were sentenced to four years supervised probation for three counts each of misdemeanor child abuse. The couple gave up all parental rights.
Winnie is also serving a four year deferred sentence for one count of felony child abuse.