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Man Accused of Beating Adopted Son Convicted

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (Brad Underwood) -- A Clermont County man beat his adopted son so severely prosecutors are amazed the little boy is alive.

John Kelley, 43, also made his son walk around a Kroger store wearing a sign that read, "I pee on my family if I don't get my way," as a way of punishment for behavioral issues at home.

After a brief bench trial, Clermont County Common Pleas Judge Jerry R. McBride convicted Kelley of two counts of child endangerment and one count of felonious assault.  The boy ran away from home over the summer in fear of continued beatings. Clermont County Sheriffs deputies examined the child and found extensive bruising on his leg that exhibited long term abuse.
"Bruises on top of bruises, along with lashes, clearly consistent of belt whippings," said O'Reilly.
The nine-year-old was adopted by the Kelley family in 2012 after living in eight different foster family settings. In 2010, the boy was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after witnessing domestic violence in his biological home.

O'Reilly says the boy displayed behavior like throwing tantrums, throwing items, and urinating in the home. Before adopting the boy, O'Reilly says the Kelley's were fully aware of the boys emotional issues.
"As sad and as awful and terrible as the physical abuse was, the photograph of his face having to parade around the store like that was unimaginable," said O'Reilly.
In court, O'Reilly says the boy told Judge McBride that the physical abuse started three days after he was adopted. Since being removed from the Kelley home, the boy has been placed back in the foster care system and is staying with a family who has previously taken care of him.
Kelley will be sentenced in February and faces 2-8 years in prison for each count, plus a $15,000 fine for each count.




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