Ohio Parents of 19 Kids and Two of Their Sons Charged in Bizarre Sexual Abuse Case

Father Robert Bellar, Mother Debrah and sons Jonathan and Josiah


Allegations originated from the couple’s daughter Serah Bellar. She described a bizarre home life in which her parents brought the kids to a church run by her uncle, who preached that siblings are supposed to have children with one another to repopulate the planet amid the apocalypse, she said. Bellar escaped in April 2020, when she was 16.

Serah Bellar’s two brothers are the ones charged specifically with sexual abuse. Jonathan Bellar remains at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a count of gross sexual imposition. Josiah Bellar is already locked up on unrelated charges, and now faces three counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition in the new abuse case, according to the Athens County Prosecutor.

The father Robert Bellar is charged with a count of engaging in corrupt activity, and two counts of endangering children, records show. The mother Deborah is charged with engaging in corrupt activity. The parents and Jonathan Bellar have all pleaded not guilty, prosecutors said.

Law & Crime

Uncle Jim the preacher off the Waverly-based Dove Outreach “church”, a self-proclaimed apostle, reportedly rewrote chapters of the Bible to fit his religious beliefs that were passed on to the Bellar kids. He was very selective about who he permitted at Dove Outreach, which some have described as a cult, documents said.

“He’d always talk about the end of the world and how you’d reproduce with your siblings.”

Brothers sexually abusing younger siblings was allegedly commonplace within the house, according to the documents. Robert allegedly physically abused his daughter Serah and both he and his wife went to great lengths to protect the family from becoming exposed by outside agencies. As of Tuesday, Deborah was arrested and is in custody. Robert was at large with a nationwide warrant out for his arrest for about 24 hours before turning himself in on Wednesday.

The Athens Messenger

As if that wasn’t more than enough:

Athens County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jimmy Childs Arrested in Connection to Bellar Investigation

Childs, also the Athens County school resource officer, was charged with obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies, according to booking records from the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail where he is being held.

Athens County investigators executed a search warrant in Pike County on Thursday where they recovered the cell phone of Robert Bellar, the indicted father of Serah Bellar who, along with his wife, was charged with a number of felonies related to reports of abetting sexual and physical abuse against children within their household.

On Friday, investigators executed a search warrant on the phone in Athens County, and accused Childs of deleting evidence of a phone call he had with Robert and providing false information during the course of the prosecutor’s investigation, Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said.

The Athens Messenger

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