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No Jail Time for Parents Who Starved Kids

No Jail Time for Parents Who Starved Kids

Posted - Mar. 21, 2003 at 8:04 a.m.



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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- West Jordan parents who starved their two children as punishment will receive mental health treatment -- not a jail sentence.

Roger Alan Leach and the children's stepmother, Jamee College Leach, had starved the boy and girl -- now ages 12 and 13 -- to the point where the boy had stopped growing and the girl was stealing food from school.

At home, the refrigerator was kept locked with a cable.

Charged last year with two counts each of second-degree felony child abuse, Roger Leach pleaded guilty this week to a lesser third-degree felony count of child abuse, and Jamee Leach pleaded "no contest" to the same count.

The pleas for both defendants will be held in abeyance for 1 year.

Prosecutors conceded they had given the defendants "an extraordinary deal," but one that spared the children from the trauma of a trial. Plus it gets the parents "serious mental health treatment."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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