AMELIA, Ohio – A man made his 9-year-old adopted son stand in Kroger wearing a sign that said, “I pee on my family if I don’t get my way,” and beat the boy so severely he's lucky to be alive, a Clermont County prosecutor said.
"We had a doctor from Children's (Hospital) testify in this case, we had two ... deputies from the Clermont County Sheriff's Office, we had three (Child Protective Services) workers ... to a person, this is not anything anyone has ever seen on a child who is alive," assistant prosecutor Scott C. O'Reilly said.
A judge convicted John A. Kelley, 43, of Amelia, of child endangering and felonious assault Friday following a court trial.
The troubled boy was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing domestic violence in his biological home and had been in eight different homes until the Kelleys took him in.
Kelley and his wife became the boy's foster parents in 2011 and adopted him 11 months later in November 2012.
First, though, the Kelleys signed an agreement that they would not use corporal punishment.
But when they couldn’t stop the boy from urinating on the carpet and furniture and throwing tantrums, John A. Kelley resorted to using a belt and a paddle to beat the boy on his buttocks and the back of his waist and thighs, causing severe bruising, the prosecutor said.
In June 2013, the boy fled to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbor reported it to authorities.
Kelley faces two to eight years in prison each of three counts against him.
He will be sentenced in February.
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