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Former Athens Co. Deputy Pleads Guilty To Charges Related To Bellar Case

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB)— A former Athens County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty Thursday to a disorderly conduct charge related to the Bellar family case.

Jimmy Childs, also a former school resource officer in the county, was arrested in May and originally charged with felony counts of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice.

Jimmy Childs.
Jimmy Childs Mugshot.

Prosecutors alleged at the time that Childs deleted a record of a phone conversation with Robert Bellar during the execution of a search warrant on Bellar’s residence. He also did not inform his supervisor of the call.

The original felony charges were reduced to the minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct as part of Child’s plea deal. But his employment with the Athens County Sheriff Department immediately ended and he was ordered to forfeit his license as an Ohio peace officer.

He has also agreed to testify in Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn’s case against four members of the Bellar family.

He previously denied “intentionally aiding the Bellars” but acknowledged “how his actions affected events.”

The charges against the Bellar family come from an investigation into the disappearance and reappearance of Robert’s daugther, Serah Bellar, who made claims of sexual abuse by other members of the family.

Robert and his wife Deborah are charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and endangering children.

Their son Jonathan is charged with gross sexual imposition. Another son, Josiah, is charged with rape and gross sexual imposition.

Child’s plea ends  the investigation of him, according to a statement from Blackburn.

“Childs’ career in law enforcement is over.” Blackburn said. “During his 25-year career, he made a lot of positive impact on children in our community.”