Judge Dunham Sets $7,500 Cash Only Bond for Convicted Child Abuser Christopher Bewley

January 3rd, 2023

You may remember horrific pictures of a little boy COVERED in bruises all over his body that went viral on social media in 2021. The little boy was blond and had a soiled diaper. His bottom was covered in a giant purple hand print. His back was covered in bruises. He even had bruises on his head and ears. We have seen a lot of horrific things here including crime scene photos in murder cases but nothing could have prepared us for how horrific this child’s injuries were.

We will not share those pictures because no one should have to see them and those babies should not ever have to see pictures of their own abuse online. It was clear that if this child was not located immediately and rescued, he could die. We received those pictures from a friend of Christopher Bewley who was getting no help from DHS and did not know what to do. 

The mother of the children in those horrific pictures was Ilissa Brown. Despite the fact that the Brown had been under investigation by DHS for similar allegations and much worse, DHS did not remove the children. Despite the fact that Ilissa Brown told DHS multiple times that she did not want her children, DHS did nothing. DHS saw the bruises on more than one occasion and did not remove the children. 

The children were finally removed the day we were sent the pictures because an investigator at the Pope County Sheriff’s Office immediately acted to make contact with the children and remove them from Brown and Bewley’s care. They too believed that these children were in danger of serious injury or death if allowed to stay in Brown’s custody. 

Pope County charged Bewley with Domestic Battery 2nd Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor. Brown was charged with Permitting Child Abuse. Bewley would ultimately be released on a $15,000 bond while Brown was released on a $40,000 bond. 

As if this wasn’t as disturbing enough, both Ilissa Brown and Christopher Bewley were sentenced to probation. Two of Brown’s children were removed from Brown’s custody including the child in the pictures and another child with similar injuries. Another of her children was placed in the custody of her biological father.  

Christopher Bewley was AGAIN arrested in May of 2022. This time it was for Rape. Bewley’s probation was revoked in the child abuse case because his new crime is also considered a violation of his probation. Bewley has been held at the Pope County Detention Center since May 14th, 2022 awaiting trial.

Today an order was entered granting special conditions of release for Bewley. The order was actually signed during a hearing in September but had not been uploaded to AOC until today. The order says Bewley will be allowed to bond out on a $7,500 cash only bond ON BOTH CASES. Bewley will be released into the custody of his grandparents and will be required to pay for electronic monitoring and cannot have any contact with anyone under 18. 

Now, you may be wondering why this convicted child abuser is being granted release from jail when he is clearly a danger to the community and facing serious prison time but frankly, we don’t know.

We could preach to the choir about enabling your family members at the detriment of the community and your own morality but Bewley is the problem here and he and only he are responsible for his reprehensible behavior. He also has not been released as of the publication of this article so it is possible he can’t make that bond.

We can only hope that someone at some point will step up for the children and women in our community and put a stop to this man’s predatory behavior with a long prison sentence.