A Missouri couple is trying to get their 10 adopted children back, but they stand accused of making some of those children sleep in calf huts and a truck trailer in their backyard.
Sharon and Reed Leonard were charged in August with misdemeanor child endangerment, almost a year after an investigation by the Newton County Sheriff’s Department and state child-welfare workers determined some of the children allegedly were forced to stay outside the couple’s home north of Neosho. Sharon Leonard, 51, also was charged with felony child abuse.
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“What I was told was they were given their meals on the porch of the home and had to ask permission from the parents to go inside and get ready for school,” Detective Dale Brashers said of the children allegedly forced to sleep in the backyard.
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The Leonards moved to Newton County in November 2008 from Wisconsin, where they’d operated the Hearts of Hope Adoption Ministry, a not-for-profit organization offering assistance in international adoptions, and Abiding Acres Kennel, a dog-breeding business.
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