Woman Charged With Endangering Children Held On $500,000 Bond

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A New Straitsville woman was indicted in Hocking County Common Pleas Court Friday on charges stemming from her arrest in January, alleging crimes against two minor children.

During her arraignment Tuesday, Karen Sharpe, 54, pleaded innocent to one count of kidnapping, a first-degree felony; and two counts of endangering children, third-degree felonies.

The Hocking County Sheriff’s Office received complaints in January of criminal acts against the children and immediately launched an investigation which led to Sharpe’s arrest.

According to the complaint, evidence collected at Sharpe’s home includes audio and video clips of Sharpe abusing the children.

The complaint alleges Sharpe became enraged at the younger of the two children for stepping on her injured foot and allegedly forced the child to the floor and stuffed a soiled pair of men’s underwear into the child’s mouth.

She then allegedly taped the underwear to the child’s face to secure it in place and forced the child to eat fecal matter. A videotape of the incident was recorded by the older of the two children and collected as evidence, but is not being released to the public due to its graphic nature.

Sharpe also allegedly struck the side of the older child’s face on Jan. 19, causing substantial bruising.

Sharpe could face up to 11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, if found guilty of the kidnapping charge.

The two charges of endangering children carry a sentence of up to three years in prison with a $10,000 fine.

Hocking County Common Pleas Court Judge John Wallace denied Sharpe’s request for a lower bond. The bond will remain in place as imposed by Hocking County Municipal Court Judge Fred Moses in January, which is $500,000 cash or surety.

If Sharpe should post bail, she has been court-ordered to have no contact with the two minor victims.

A pretrial has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 6, followed by a jury trial on April 7.