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Woman gags child with soiled men's underwear, cop calls it 'most heinous' case

An Ohio grandmother was charged with child abuse after gagging her granddaughter with soiled men's underwear.
An Ohio grandmother was charged with child abuse after gagging her granddaughter with soiled men's underwear. Images

A grandmother from southeastern Ohio was arrested Wednesday and charged with child abuse for allegedly gagging her 11-year-old granddaughter with feces-soiled men's underwear. Sgt. Ed Downs of the Hocking County Sheriff's Office called it, "the most disgusting, heinous", case of child abuse he'd ever seen.

Karen Sharpe, 54, of New Straitsville, was arrested after authorities watched video of her allegedly forcing men's underwear soiled with feces into her young granddaughter’s mouth and taping it there. When the girl vomited, Sharpe allegedly told her to swallow it, according to The Columbus Dispatch on Jan. 31.

The grandmother was arrested Wednesday after an older granddaughter secretly recorded the abuse with cellphone video. Detectives are now also investigating Sharpe’s live-in boyfriend.

Sharpe was charged with kidnapping, two felony counts of endangering children, assault and domestic violence. She is being held on $1 million bond at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail in Nelsonville.

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Apparently the abuse had become so severe in the household that the older 13-year-old granddaughter decided to start secretly recording her grandmother. And it was what she recorded on her phone on Jan. 19 that disturbed even seasoned law-enforcement officials.

Sharpe allegedly punched the 13-year-old in the face. The child reportedly has a steel plate in her head due to abuse from what's only being described as "another adult."

The incident on Jan. 19 was apparently spurred on when the younger girl stepped on the grandmother's injured foot. The gagging was intended to be punishment for that.

Downs said Sharpe had custody of the two girls, who share the same mother. "I’ve never seen an animal being treated this way," the sergeant said.

The girls have since been removed from the home and relocated by the Hocking County Children's Services.

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