An Iowa couple who starved and emotionally traumatized their two adopted children pleaded guilty to abuse and neglect charges. A judge sentenced the couple a mere two months of probation for their shocking crimes.
Kenny Fry, 42, and Kelly Fry, 40, of Osceola, Iowa, were found guilty of two counts each of child endangerment, according to Iowa court records. The charges are considered to be an aggravated misdemeanor. In the state of Iowa, an aggravated misdemeanor is the most serious of the misdemeanors. It is punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of $625 to $6,250. The Frys only received probation.
The couple adopted two Black children- a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy from Ghana years prior. Medical professionals examined the children in February 2018 and discovered that the two Black children were malnourished. The brother and sister shared a bedroom and were forced to sleep on a small plastic mat with a throw blanket, according to investigators.
The children told police the parents left the siblings alone in the bedroom for several hours a day. They weren’t given access to the family bathroom, and Kenny and Kelly Fry forced the children to use a plastic bucket as a toilet. The sadistic couple even rigged their bedroom door with an alarm to alert them if the children tried to leave. They reprimanded the brother and sister with physical exercise, including squats and push-ups.
A concerned neighbor heard the brother and sister pleading with the adoptive parents to let them back in the home, and she notified the police. They had been left outside in freezing temperatures for 45 minutes.
“They were knocking on the door. It sounded like they were crying, ‘Let me in,’” the neighbor said in a statement. “I cannot say exactly what they were saying, but I could hear crying out. I just thought, ‘Something is not right.’ Just knowing it was so cold outside and those poor kids were locked out.”
Kenny and Kelly Fry have five biological children who weren’t subjected to the inhumane, devious treatment. The couple claimed cruel abusive actions served as a form of punishment for the adopted children’s bad behavior. The fact is the couple was slowly murdering two Black children by starvation and neglect and probation is not enough.
The court ruled the Frys must serve 100 hours of community service and are required to pay $12,500 in fines. The lenient sentence was met with well-deserved criticism.
Clarke County District Judge Dustria Relph diminished the severity of the couple’s crime citing “poor parenting skills.” The supposed behavior issues were addressed by medical personnel who described the victims as well-mannered with no occurrences of acting out. The delusional judge even said they sought help and “received bad advice in return.”
“This is about a young couple who got in over their heads in a failed adoption, made poor decisions, and didn’t get help when they needed it, at least not the right help,” Relph wrote in her decision “The defendants made some serious mistakes and, even though they may not be wealthy, I believe they should pay a hefty debt to society even if those payments take several years.”