Karen Thorne told one of her newly adopted 4-year-old daughters that "nobody else wants you," a witness said Tuesday in the trial of a Phoenix couple accused of abusing the girls on a plane ride to the United States.
Had the Russian-speaking child understood, it might have verged on verbal abuse, said the witness, a licensed mental-health professional identified only as Al.
But he also testified that he never saw Karen or Richard Thorne hit or choke the two girls, although they were "frantic and frustrated" throughout most of the Moscow-to-New York flight May 28.
Other passengers and flight attendants have testified in Queens Family Court that they saw the Thornes slap the girls and use other physical force.
Thorne, 48, and his wife, 43, face charges of assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of the children.