A mother who watched disturbing footage of her daughter being abused is asking the public for help. Jessica Adkins said she worries that the father of her daughter, Bella, won’t face jail time for the horrific acts he was caught committing on camera. Now the Defiance, Ohio mom is taking the rallying cry of “Justice For Bella” viral in a bid to lock him up.
When Adkins first noticed pea-sized bruises on 5-month-old Bella’s face last year, she worried that her daughter had been playing with older children at daycare. However, a large bruise that appeared on Bella’s face after visiting her father, Ronald Beverly, caused her to consult a doctor.
“Her doctor said that I should do the next visit in my house with a video,” Adkins told WTOL.
Taking the doctor’s advice, Adkins set up a camera during a May 2020 visit between her daughter and Beverly. When she watched the footage, what she saw horrified her.
“I seen him flicking her in the face and he bodyslammed her onto my couch and I then called the cops,” said Adkins.
The footage also caught Beverly seemingly suffocating and squeezing Bella.
“I froze,” Adkins said. “How could you do this? Like no matter how mad my kids make me, I’ll never do that to them.”
Police arrested Beverly, charging him with two counts of felony child endangerment. He has since pleaded no contest to the charges and now awaits sentencing.
Meanwhile, Adkins said her daughter suffered lasting physical and psychological trauma. In a statement on Change.org, the mother said Bella suffered 5 broken ribs at the hands of her father. Now one year old, the child suffers severe anxiety around strangers and even family members, Adkins said.
Still, Adkins worries that due to Ohio sentencing guidelines, Beverly may get five years probation for a first-time offense rather than jail time.
“This may be the first offense for him but the extent of the activities he did in these videos should be more than just [his] first time getting in trouble,” she said.
Adkins has taken to the internet to campaign for a tougher sentence for Beverly, starting the #JusticeForBella campaign and a Change.org petition to raise awareness. The petition has gained over 8,000 signatures out of a goal of 10,000 as of this writing.
Beverly is currently scheduled for sentencing on July 29. Meanwhile, Adkins plans to hold a protest the same day.
“Keep pushing for what’s right for the kid,” Adkins said. “This isn’t about me. it’s about her and no child deserves that.”