Deborah Bellar given $1 million bond in Athens County child abuse case

Local News

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — A woman was given a $1 million bond Wednesday after pleading not guilty to a set of charges that she and members of her family are facing related to the sexual abuse of children.

Deborah Bellar, 49, of Athens pleaded not guilty in Athens County Common Pleas Court to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony, and to two charges of endangering children, both third-degree felonies.

Robert Bellar

Deborah’s husband, Robert, 54, and two of her sons — Josiah, 18, and Jonathan, 26 — are also facing charges.

Robert, who was the subject of a nationwide arrest warrant, was in custody Wednesday afternoon, according to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

Jonathan Bellar was arrested Wednesday at the Adult Parole Authority office in Athens.

A news release from Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said that Deborah Bellar sat motionless for most of the 10-minute hearing with her eyes closed.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Liz Pepper requested a high bond due to the nature of the charges and for Bellar’s “refusal to accept the fact that there was sexual abuse going on in the home and the conspiracy she then entered into to conceal that.”

Pepper also said Bellar had a history of being uncooperative with children services and law enforcement, and she requested that if Bellar posts bond that she be outfitted with an ankle monitor and to have no contact with children. Judge Patrick Lang agreed to the requests.

The case stems a missing child who resurfaced on Facebook under a false name and posted details of allegations against the Bellar family, including sexual assault. The incidents allegedly took place from 2008 to ’16.

Josiah is jailed on unrelated charges. Jonathan is scheduled to have an arraignment hearing Thursday.

Blackburn said Robert Bellar turned himself in to the Athens County Sheriff’s Office just before 4 p.m. Wednesday. He is scheduled to be in court Friday morning.

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