Gag order issued for couple accused of leaving adopted girl

Adoptive parents Michael and Kristine Barnett were both booked and bailed out of the Tippecanoe County Jail. (Photo: Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department)
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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A judge has issued a gag order in the case of a couple accused of abandoning their adopted daughter in Indiana and moving to Canada.

Tippecanoe Superior 2 Judge Steve Meyer told Michael Barnett, Kristine Barnett and their counsel that they can't discuss the girl's medical, mental or education records in media interviews.

The judge says they may discuss the allegations and their defense in general terms.

Authorities say the now-divorced couple adopted the Ukrainian orphan with dwarfism in 2010, and a doctor estimated her to be 8 years old that same year. Before leaving for Canada in 2013, the couple legally changed her age to 22.

The Journal and Courier reports the Barnetts have been detailing the girl's mental health and medical conditions in talk show appearances and media interviews. They each face two counts of neglect.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com