Four members of Ohio family charged in sex abuse case

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ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — Four members of an Athens County family have been indicted on charges related to sexually abusing multiple children.

Charged are Robert Bellar, 54, and Deborah Bellar, 49, and two of their children, Josiah, 24, and Jonathan, 26, according to Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.

Deborah Beller

Robert and Deborah are charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony, and two charges of endangering children, both third-degree felonies.

Josiah was indicted on three counts of rape, each first-degree felonies, and two counts of gross sexual imposition, both fourth-degree felonies. Jonathan is also accused of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony.

The charges are related to incidents that allegedly took place btween 2008 and ’16.

One of the victims — whose age was listed as 16 in April 2020 — had been reported missing, but she resurfaced with a Facebook post under a pseudonym. In the post, she said that she planned to wait until she was 18 to come forward and described numerous allegations involving the family.

The indictment against Robert and Deborah Bellar said the two obstructed justice, tampered with evidence, and conspired to conceal sexual abuse within the home. Deborah Bellar has been taken into custody. A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for Robert Bellar.

“This is a terrible, terrible story and it’s not what’s right about the system, but hopefully, today makes it a little better,” Blackburn said.

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