"Their faces were black with dirt and their knees were black," police said of the children in a criminal complaint. "The children's clothes were unwashed and 'reeked.' The oldest of the children (4 yrs. old), said very few words and would only grunt and point at things."
The other children were 3 months old and nearly two years old.
The children were removed and placed in protective care. The couple were charged with three counts of child neglect.
Both pleaded guilty in 2007 to a single misdemeanor count of child abuse by neglect, according to the Associated Press. They were placed on probation for two years and ordered to take parenting classes, and Sperling was ordered to undergo a mental-health evaluation, the AP reported. It is unclear if they fulfilled the requirements.