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Polk County couple avoids prison in child abuse case

They were charged after a 17-year-old girl in their care was found underweight, losing her hair and injured while hiding in woods.
Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

POLK CITY, Fla. — A  couple from Polk County won’t serve any prison time in a child abuse case in which a malnourished, injured teenage girl was discovered hiding in woods. 

A Polk County circuit judge opted instead of prison to sentence 49-year-old Kris Peters on Friday to 15 years' probation after he pleaded guilty to a charge of child neglect with great bodily harm. His wife, 37-year-old Melissa Peters, previously pleaded no contest to the same charge and also was sentenced to probation. 

They were charged after a 17-year-old girl in their care was found underweight, losing her hair and injured while hiding in woods.

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