Couple accused of starving son retains custody of other children

3:30 PM, Nov 30, 2012   |    comments
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MANKATO, Minn. - A North Mankato couple accused of starving their adopted son will temporarily keep parental rights to their other three children.

Nicollet County Judge Todd Westphal made that ruling Friday after hearing a petition to terminate the parental rights of Russell and Mona Hauer. The petition was filed after authorities removed the Hauer's 8-year-old adopted son from their home.

Charges were filed against the Hauers after Mona Hauer brought the boy into a doctor, who found that he weighed only 35 pounds. Prosecutors allege the Hauer's starved the child by  putting him on a liquid diet because the child apparently had "issues" with food.

Judge Westphal ruled against terminating the Hauer's parental rights to their other children, two boys and a girl between the ages of five and ten. He did impose conditions, like mandating full access to the children and the Hauer's property by a Guardian ad Litem and agents of Nicollet County Social Services.

Russell and Mona Hauer also have to select a physician approved by the Guardian ad Litem to serve as the primary care provider for the children.

They can also not engage in any corporal punishment involving the children.

The trial that will determine whether the couple's permanent parental rights will be terminated is currently set for early January.

Judge Westphal ruled that the 8-year-old will remain in foster care, and should be enrolled in school. Prosecutors say he is thriving, having gained more than 15 pounds and two inches in height since leaving the Hauer home.

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