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WAYNESVILLE, OH (FOX19) -
A landlord in Waynesville, Ohio is facing an assault charge for allegedly spanking a tenant four times on his butt with his belt.
53-year-old Ron Kronenberger pled not guilty Thursday in a Warren County courtroom and was ordered to stay away from the tenant.
The alleged incident took place on January 22nd.
The Waynesville police report states the alleged victim was $2,800 overdue on his rent payment. According to the report, the 29-year-old tenant went to visit Kronenberger at his grocery store when Kronenberger shut and locked his office door and told the man's wife to wait outside. The tenant says they discussed rent payment and a job search before Kronenberger left his office and returned with a belt.
The tenant says his landlord stated "If you're going to act like a child, I'm going to treat you like one" and told the man to bend over and place his hands on a chair. The report states the tenant complied and alleges Kronenberger then spanked him four times on the butt. Pictures taken show little marks allegedly the result of the incident.
When police asked the tenant why he agreed, he stated he "was scared and just wanted to get it over with."
According to the police report, Kronenberger admitted to whipping the man in his office due to the late rent payment.
"It's just a quiet little village community and not much really happens here. So, it's kind of shocking," village resident Mary Hammiel told FOX19.
As the signs leading into the village state, Waynesville is known for its antiques and sauerkraut festival, not for scandal.
Kronenberger's former employee of more than 12 years, Mary Hammiel could not believe the spanking allegations.
"That part kind of shocks me, but he's a great person," she argued. "Ron has done a lot for the Village of Waynesville."
"He just participates in everything," echoed local business owner Judy Prickett.
In fact, Kronenberger helped run the annual Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival, he was a former chamber president, and he even landed the Lions Club's distinction of "Citizen of the Year" back in 2006.
"I don't know what made him go over the edge to do this but I'm sure he had a reasoning behind it; right, wrong, or indifferent," Hammiel said. "I'm going to have to stand behind Ron on this."
Kronenberger denied comment Thursday following his court appearance. He is expected back in court next Wednesday.