Seven people charged in Vinton County child abuse cases

Seven people are facing various charges for multiple instances of child abuse in Vinton County.
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VINTON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Seven people are facing various charges for multiple instances of child abuse in Vinton County.

The Vinton County prosecutor says the seven were arrested Thursday after being indicted by a grand jury.

In a release, Vinton County Prosecutor Trecia Kimes-Brown outlined three separate cases where children under a year old were allegedly abused, and one of them died.

Kimes-Brown says in all three cases, the suspects charged have a history of drug abuse.

The indictments include:

- Nicholas Bethel, of Ray, was indicted on three counts of assault, six counts of endangering children, and one count of permitting child abuse.

- Lacey Grant, of Ray, faces charges for endangering children, and permitting child abuse.

- Tyler May, 22, of McArthur, was indicted on several charges including assault, child endangerment, and permitting child abuse.

- Savannah Peoples, 24, of McArthur, was indicted for assault, child endangerment, and permitting child abuse.

- Mark Thompson, 24, of McArthur, is charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of reckless homicide, one count of endangering children, and one count of permitting child abuse.

- Hannah Beckett, 23, of West Virginia, faces several charges including child endangerment, and permitting child abuse.

- Tyler Rucker, of Jackson County, Ohio, was indicted for using a minor in nudity oriented material.

"I believe these children are our future and deserve the best that all systems can offer," said Kimes- Brown. "As a result, many people, through coordinated efforts, worked to attempt to bring security and justice to these victims. I am aware that there are many others who deserve the same. I will continue to use my best efforts and our available resources to ensure that we can provide them the safe environments that they need to heal and thrive."

Her statement goes on to say, "As a result, at this time, I am asking that our local communities and our state come together to have a hearty discussion about our priorities in addressing the issues that face these children and the systems obligated to protect them. Further, I ask that once that discussion occurs that we take strategical action to implement our priorities and we fund them appropriately."