Sarah Hart, here smiling in her mug shot, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic assault and malicious punishment of a child December 27, 2010
One of the lesbian mothers who were found dead on Monday alongside three of their six adopted children after plunging off a cliff in California was previously arrested for assaulting her six-year-old daughter.
Court documents exclusively obtained by the DailyMail.com show that Sarah Hart was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic assault and malicious punishment of a child December 27, 2010, when the family lived in Minnesota.
It was previously revealed that Sarah Hart and her wife Jennifer, both 39, had been reported to Child Protective Services days before their deaths for allegedly starving their children.
According to court records from 2010, Sarah Hart was arrested after her daughter went to school with bruises on her body.
The girl, identified in court documents as six-year-old AH, is believed to be now-14-year-old Abigail Hart, whose body was found at the bottom of the coastal cliff in Westport, California, alongside her mothers and two of her siblings on Monday.
Abigail told her teacher on November 15, 2010, that she had ‘owies’ on her stomach and backside, court records say.
Days before their bodies were found at the bottom of a cliff in California, neighbors called CPS in Washington to report Jennifer and Sarah Hart (above) for not feeding their six adopted kids. The Harts are pictured above with their children
On Monday, a passerby spotted their car at the bottom of the cliff. The two mothers’ bodies were inside along with three of the children’s but three other kids have not yet been found
‘With the child’s permission, the teacher lifted her shirt and saw that, indeed, the child had bruises on her front from her sternum to a point above her belly button, and on her back from midway down her back to the waistband of her pants,’ according to court records.
Court documents continue: ‘When the teacher asked AH what happened, AH responded, ‘Mom hit me’.’
Douglas County Social Services social worker Nancy Weibe conducted interviews with the girl and took photos of her injuries, which the six-year-old said had happened the day before.
Detective Sergeant Larry Dailey from the Alexandria Police Department contacted Sarah and Jessica Hart and interviewed them separately about the bruises.
‘Sarah immediately took responsibility for the spanking that occurred the previous day,’ according to court records. ‘The defendant explained that she and her partner, Jennifer, do not ordinarily use spanking as a disciplinary measure in their household.
‘However, they have recently resorted to spanking to deal with AH ‘s behaviour. The defendant admitted that she let her anger get out of control the previous day while dealing with AH.
‘The defendant explained that she took AH into the bathroom and bent A H over the edge of the bathtub. The defendant admitted that she hit AH on the backside and acknowledged that the marks on AH’s stomach probably came from AH being bent over the tub.’
According to court records from 2010, Sarah Hart was arrested after her daughter went to school with bruises on her body
The injured girl, identified in court documents as six-year-old AH, is believed to be now-14-year-old Abigail Hart, whose body was found at the bottom of the coastal cliff in Mendocino, California, alongside her mothers and two of her siblings on Monday
Sarah Hart was charged with one count of malicious punishment of a child punishable by one year in jail and/or a $3,000.00 fine and one count of domestic assault punishable by 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine
Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to one count of domestic assault-intentionally inflicts/attempts to inflict bodily harm
As part of Sarah Hart’s plea deal, another charge of malicious punishment of a child was dismissed
Sarah Hart was charged with one count of malicious punishment of a child punishable by one year in jail and/or a $3,000.00 fine and one count of domestic assault punishable by 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
Three months later on April 7, 2011, she pleaded guilty to one count of domestic assault-intentionally inflicts/attempts to inflict bodily harm. As part of the plea deal, another charge of malicious punishment of a child was dismissed.
She was fined $385, given a 90 days sentence, which was stayed, and placed on one year’s supervised probation.
After undergoing a domestic abuse evaluation and following court orders, her probation was completed on April 4, 2012.
The DailyMail.com has also learned that the deceased couple were married in Connecticut on September 1, 2009, Jennifer was listed as the groom and Sarah was listed at the bride.
But according to Minnesota court records Sarah had legally changed her name from Sarah M Gengler to Sarah M Hart, approximately four year prior to their marriage July 2005.
On Monday, the Harts bodies were found at the bottom of a cliff in Westport, California, off Highway 1 along with three of their children, Markis, 19; Jeremiah 14; and Abigail, 14.
Hannah, 16; Devonte, 15; and Sierra, 12, have not been found.
Sarah (right) and Jennifer (left), both 39. The deceased couple were married in Connecticut on September 1, 2009, Jennifer was listed as the groom and Sarah was listed at the bride
The Harts, pictured with four of their children in 2014, were married. According to Minnesota court records Sarah had legally changed her name from Sarah M Gengler to Sarah M Hart, approximately four year prior to their marriage July 2005
Devonte, 15, made headlines in 2014 in this picture where he is seen hugging a police officer at a protest in Portland over the cop shooting of a black man. The family moved to Washington in 2017. He is the child who asked neighbors for food last week and told them that his moms were ‘punishing’ him
Police said the family of eight were driving a five-seater 2003 GMC Sierra truck at the time (file photo)
It is not clear yet if they drove over the cliff purposefully or by accident but police said no brake marks were found at the scene.
To reach the cliff edge at the lookout, the women would have had to have driven off the Pacific Highway and traversed 75ft of rugged dirt road.
It is not known yet if they came to a stop at the edge before falling over.
Days before the couple plunged 100ft over a coastal cliff in California, neighbors of Jennifer and Sarah Hart in Washington state called CPS to report that their son Devonte had come to their home asking for food every day for a week.
In Woodland, Washington, the Hart family lived in a $400,000 home which they bought in 2017.
Neighbors said Devonte – who made national headlines when he was pictured hugging a police officer during a 2014 protest – asked them to leave food out in a box for him and said his mothers were ‘punishing’ him by not feeding him.
In 2017, another of the children came to their home at 1.30am asking for their ‘protection’, they said.
On Friday, a CPS worker arrived at the home and knocked on the door, according to the neighbors Bruce and Dana DeKalb, but the Harts never answered.
This is an aerial view of the cliff the family plunged over in their car. It is in Mendocino, California, 600 miles away from their home in Washington. To reach the cliff’s edge at a lookout point where police were basing their search, the family would have had to have turned off Pacific Highway and traversed 75ft of dirt road. The car was found slightly southbound, not directly beneath the cliff. There were no skid or brakebarks on the highway either to suggest that they suddenly turned off the road
These are the tracks left by the car when it went over the edge of the cliff. They remained at the scene on Wednesday
If traveling northbound, the family would have had to have turned left here to reach the cliff
It is not clear yet if they drove over the cliff (pictured above) purposefully or by accident but police said no brake marks were found at the scene
Police continued to search the scene on Wednesday for the three missing children
Instead, they packed up in a hurry and fled with all six kids in their 2003 GMC Sierra truck, they said. It was days later that their bodies were found at the bottom of the cliff.
Another neighbor who lived near the family in Oregon years ago said the children mostly stayed inside and were not allowed to eat sugar.
Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward. They are asking for anyone who may have seen them in a restaurant or hotel in the days beforehand to contact them.
They are also still considering the three children who were not found as missing people and say in the best case scenario, they were not in the vehicle at the time of the crash. It is not clear what either woman did for a living.
‘I can tell you it was a very confusing scene because there were no skid marks, there were no brake marks, there was no indication of why this vehicle traversed approximately over 75ft of a dirt pull out and went into the pacific ocean,’ Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said on Wednesday.
He added: ‘We have no reason to believe, we have no evidence, that this was an intentional act. Certainly people are wondering what caused this.
‘If this was an intentional act, I truly believe we are going to come to that conclusion.’