A Pennsylvania couple pleaded guilty to multiple charges after prosecutors said three young children in their care were starved so badly they ate peeled paint off the walls of their bedroom, multiple outlets report.
Joshua Weyant, 34, and his 39-year-old wife Brandi Weyant, of Halifax, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, false imprisonment, unlawful restraining and child endangerment, the Associated Press reports.
According to police, the three children in their care — ages 4, 5 and 6 — were severely underweight and could not keep food down, ABC27 reports.
ABC reports that a doctor examining two of the children said they would have died had authorities not intervened.
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Dauphin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle told Pennlive.com that police and workers from Children & Youth Services visited the Weyants’ home in 2016 after receiving an anonymous tip.
According to Gettle, the children were found in an unheated bedroom that lacked furniture including beds, the outlet reports. Gettle said paint was missing from the walls for as high as the children could reach because the children were eating it “to try to survive.”
The outlet reports that according to prosecutors, the Weyants starved the children because Joshua didn’t want them anymore.
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According to the AP, the children — who are not the biological children of the Weyants — are currently in foster care.
The Weyants will be sentenced in May and face a minimum of 10 years in prison, the AP reports.
Pennlive.com reports that Joshua also pleaded no contest to unrelated charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors for molesting a a pre-teen girl from 2013-15.
PEOPLE was unable to reach Dauhpin County prosecutors.