The Tennessee woman who ended her adoption of a seven-year-old Russian boy by putting him on a plane to Moscow by himself lost her bid Friday to keep from paying $150,000 in child support.
Torry Hansen made her first court appearance Friday in a case that began in April 2010 when she sent Artyom Saveliev away from her home in Shelbyville with a letter that said he had violent behaviour problems and she no longer wanted to be his mother.
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In court on Friday, Hansen told the judge her previous attorneys did not keep her informed about the case and advised her she did not need to come to court. She also said that she gave birth to a daughter last year and could not come to court because of the pregnancy.
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"Without going into depth, I can say he was very violent. I can say he wanted to kill me and he tried to kill my sister," Torry Hansen said in court Friday.
She said that the boy threatened to stab her mother to death. She started to tear up when describing how the threats of violence sent her mother to the emergency room in Shelbyville.
"That was when my parents decided to take him, because he was so violent," she said.
She said it was her parents' decision to put the boy on a flight to Russia, but she was aware of the decision and acquiesced.
"I have never mistreated or abused him or any child," she said.
Under cross examination, Torry Hansen told the court that she never called the police or the state Department of Children's Services about his behaviour.
"I called numerous psychologists and was told there would be a 6-week wait to get in," she said.
When asked whether she was aware that a Russian court found that her actions constituted neglect and abuse, she said, "I am aware that they felt putting him on the plane was emotionally disturbing."
Ruling from the bench, Judge Russell upheld his default judgment against Hansen, ordering her to pay child support for Artyom, who now lives in a group home in a Moscow suburb. Russell said Hansen had not cooperated with the court and he wasn't convinced by her arguments.
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After the judge's ruling, Yarbrough said the litigation is not over and his client still has options, such as appealing the order or requesting that it be modified.
"I think it is a loss, we wanted the judge to set aside the default judgment and have a full trial, but there are other options for us," he said.
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