Seven children who were taken to perform for occupiers during the armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year have been placed in the temporary custody of Kansas child welfare officials.
Shawnee County Judge Steven Ebberts made the placement Wednesday after finding probable cause that the children of Odalis Sharp had been abused, The Kansas City Star reported.
“Any time I’m going to hear testimony that a child has been beaten to the point we have abrasions, broken skin and bleeding, that’s disturbing,” Ebberts said.
Sharp, 46, of Auburn, traveled with seven of her 10 children, who have a family gospel band, from Kansas to Oregon to sing for and support the 41-day occupation by armed militants at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One daughter, 18-year-old Victoria Sharp, was riding with Nevada rancher LaVoy Finicum and three of the other militants when Finicum ran a roadblock and was shot and killed by Oregon state police.
Sharp told The Star as she left the hearing that she didn’t abuse her children.
“The federal government hates us right now because my daughter is a primary witness of a murder they committed,” she said. “And so what do they do? They want the Sharp family out. And so they divide and conquer.”