Kansas

Children who performed at Oregon standoff still in Kansas state custody

Find out what happened in the ongoing Sharp family’s custody battle

Listen to Victoria Sharp and her father, Tim Sharp, talk on Monday about the attempt to get the judge to award custody of Victoria’s siblings to her father and live together in Colorado. Victoria also talked about the ongoing court case in Oregon
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Listen to Victoria Sharp and her father, Tim Sharp, talk on Monday about the attempt to get the judge to award custody of Victoria’s siblings to her father and live together in Colorado. Victoria also talked about the ongoing court case in Oregon

The outspoken Kansas-raised teen who was dubbed the “Patriot Princess” after her involvement in an Oregon standoff earlier this year appeared on Monday at the Shawnee County Courthouse.

This court episode, however, involved a battle of a different kind.

Victoria Sharp was there to support her dad in his effort to gain sole custody of seven of his minor children after they lodged allegations of child abuse against their mother in April. At the conclusion of a brief closed-door hearing, the children remained in state custody. But Tim Sharp said he was hopeful that the children would soon be living with him in Colorado.

“I’ve jumped through nearly every hoop that the state has asked me jump through,” he said afterward.

“I think within a few weeks,” he said, “the children will be back home.”

Victoria Sharp, 19, told The Star she was thrilled at the thought of being reunited with her siblings. She said she had moved to the Denver area in June to live with her father.

“I love my siblings, and they did what they had to do,” she said. “We’re just hoping that this is put in the past and they can come home to Colorado with Dad and start a happy life again.”

The children’s mother, Odalis Sharp, made headlines earlier this year when she took them to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, where they performed gospel and patriotic music for armed protesters who had seized the property.

Victoria Sharp, who had recently moved to Montana, joined the family on Jan. 25. The next day, Victoria was riding with rancher LaVoy Finicum and other occupiers when Finicum ran a roadblock and was shot and killed by Oregon state police. Victoria quickly became a rising star in the “Patriot” movement, accusing authorities of murdering Finicum.

In April, several of the Sharp children bolted from the family’s home in Auburn, Kan., and sought help from authorities, alleging abuse by their mother.

At a hearing last month, Shawnee County District Judge Steven Ebberts ruled that the children would remain in state custody after some of them testified that their mother had beaten them. The children said their siblings would scream in pain and described how their mother would say she was trying to “beat the fire” out of them.

Odalis Sharp attended Monday’s hearing but asked for a continuance because she had just been given the paperwork for the case and hadn’t had a chance to review it. The judge continued her portion of the hearing for a month. She has maintained that she did not abuse her children, telling The Star after a previous hearing that “we need to turn to God, because the system is corrupt.”

Victoria Sharp told The Star that she’d like to go to college now “and just move forward with life.”

But whatever happens, she said, she’ll continue to be involved in the “Patriot” movement.

“I think that should be a part of everyone’s life, to stand for what they believe in,” she said.

As for Finicum’s death, she said, “I don’t talk about it a whole lot right now because I’m focusing on family issues.”

“It was a really terrible thing that happened, and we’re just praying that justice will be done.”

Judy L. Thomas: 816-234-4334, @judylthomas

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