Brother’s plea deal ends criminal prosecutions arising from abuse allegations within Bellar family

Posted on:

< < Back to

ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A brother of a former Athens County resident who alleged a long history of sexual abuse in her home pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge related to his involvement.

Jonathan Bellar, 27, was indicted last year on a charge of gross sexual imposition involving one of his sisters. His parents and one of his brothers also were indicted on other charges involving the girl.

Bellar pleaded guilty Thursday to a different charge of endangering children, which carries a maximum punishment of three years in prison.

But as part of his plea deal with the Athens County prosecutor, Bellar was sentenced to three years of probation. If Bellar violates the terms of his probation, he could be sent to prison.

Bellar has been serving time in prison on unrelated charges. He is scheduled for release on Monday. Bellar’s attorney, Tim Gleeson, confirmed that Bellar will be released from prison on Monday and will then begin his probation on the new charge.

Bellar was indicted following allegations by Serah Bellar in a Facebook post she made in April 2021, one year after she had been reported missing after running away from home.

In that post, which was taken down by Facebook, Serah detailed a long list of abuses, sexual and otherwise, that she alleged she and her siblings suffered while growing up in the family home.

The post led to an investigation and the indictments a month later.

Serah’s parents, Deborah and Robert, were charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and endangering children. They pleaded guilty in March and were sentenced to prison.

Another brother, Josiah, pleaded guilty in November to charges of felonious assault and endangering children.

Jonathan’s plea brought to an end the criminal charges stemming from Serah’s allegations. But a civil case is ongoing. In February, Serah filed a lawsuit in federal court against multiple defendants, including her parents, a former Athens County sheriff’s deputy, her uncle and a church he runs.

That lawsuit had been on hold pending the resolution of Jonathan’s case.