'Safari Joe' in court for preliminary hearing in child sex abuse case

MAYES COUNTY, Okla. - A popular Green Country exotic animal owner accused of sexually abusing children is due in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Joe Estes, known as Safari Joe, turned himself in to the Mayes County Sheriff's Office in August.

He's facing one count of rape by instrumentation and two counts of lewd molestation and lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16.

Prosecutors say the abuse took place as far back as seven years ago on or near the wildlife sanctuary he runs in Adair.

Estes is currently free on bond.

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