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#JusticeForBella is Defiance mom's plea to fight child abuse and share her baby's story

Jessica Adkins fears her daughter's father, who is facing child endangerment charges will see little to no jail time for abusing their daughter.

DEFIANCE, Ohio — A Defiance mother is fighting for justice for her one-year-old baby Bella after she says she was abused by her father in May 2020.

The baby's father, Ronald Beverly, pleaded no contest to two felony child endangerment charges this month but he may not serve any jail time.

Jessica Adkins, Bella's mother, believes if he gets off with no real jail time, it shows the system is broken.

"I think the laws need to change," she said. "I think people need to open their eyes."

Last year, Adkins says she couldn't explain why Bella had marks on her face. At the time, she was just five months old.

"At first I started seeing little pea size bruises," she added. "They weren't consistent and they weren't always there. It was just timing."

She thought maybe it was Bella playing with her older siblings or with kids at daycare. But then she found a big bruise on her face after spending time with her dad and she immediately took her to the doctor.

"Her doctor said that I should do the next visit in my house with a video," she said.

So she set up a camera in her house and what she found out next was disturbing.

"I seen him flicking her in the face and he bodyslammed her onto my couch and I then called the cops," she said.

Waiting for the cops to arrive, she also sees him appear to suffocate Bella and squeeze her.

"I froze. I mean how could you do this," she said. "You know no matter how mad my kids make me, I'll never do that to them."

Beverly was arrested and indicted on two charges of child endangerment, one in the first degree and another in the third degree that was later dropped to fourth degree.

He has pleaded a no contest which means the court will decide his punishment without a trial. 

But Adkins fears under current Ohio sentencing guidelines, he will not face any jail time instead of getting five years of probation in lieu of jail time. She says that can't be the case.

"This may the first offense for him but the extent of the activities he did in these videos should be more it's just your first time getting in trouble," she said.

She is sharing her story on social media and pushing for Justice for Bella in the hopes they can get justice for Bella and other victims of child abuse.

"Keep pushing for what's right for the kid," she added. "This isn't about me. it's about her and no child deserves that."

Beverly's sentencing is scheduled for July 29 at 10:30 a.m. Adkins is planning to hold a protest that morning at 8:00 a.m. to bring awareness to Bella's case and the sentencing regarding child abuse.

 

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