Family Of Previously Missing Girl Face Charges Related To Sexual Abuse

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Four family members of a previously missing Athens County girl were indicted Tuesday on multiple felony charges that include rape and child endangerment.

Serah Bellar, originally of Amesville, was reported missing in April 2020, a few weeks before her 17th birthday. She resurfaced a little over three weeks ago through a Facebook post she made right after turning 18.

In that post made under the name Delilah Rose Price, which Facebook later took down, Bellar alleged a long pattern of sexual abuse and other mistreatment within her family.

Multiple reports of sexual abuse within the Bellar home were made over the years, but no action was taken, according to a news release by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office announcing the indictments.

One of Bellar’s brothers, Josiah, 24, was indicted on three counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition. The charges allege two different juvenile victims were involved. The rape incidents are alleged to have occurred between January 2011 to 2014, April 2015 to 2016 and April 2008 to 2016. The gross sexual imposition incidents allegedly took place between April 2008-2016.

Another brother, Jonathan, 26, is also accused of gross sexual imposition. The charge alleges the victim was one of the juveniles from the other brother’s charges. The offense allegedly took place between April 2008 to 2016.

Bellar’s parents, Robert, 54, and Deborah, 49, both of Athens, are charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and two charges of endangering children. The endangering charge lists Serah and another child as victims.

Deborah Bellar has been arrested. A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for Robert Bellar.

The indictment alleges that the parents obstructed justice, tampered with evidence and conspired to conceal sexual abuse within the home.

Athens County Children Services received reports in February 2017, May 2018 and April 2020 that sexual abuse was occurring in the Bellar home. Despite these reports and records provided by Athens County Children Services and the Athens County Child Advocacy Center, no formal action was taken.

“There was an absolute systematic failure in handling these accusations,” Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said in a prepared statement. “Serah was turned away by authorities every time she tried to report this abuse. Fearing for her continued safety, she left the state and was victimized again by those who she thought were helping her.”

Serah made her Facebook post on April 26, and said she waited to resurface until she was legally an adult. Two days later, local law enforcement confirmed that she was the author of the post and that she was safe.

The investigation into Serah’s allegations led Blackburn and other investigators to her current location in Georgia. With the help of Sheriff Alvie Lee Kight Jr. and the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, two other suspects, Jerry and Shayna Chadwick, were taken into custody and charged with interfering with custody.

The case remains under investigation.