Supermarket Owner Accused Of Spanking Mentally Disabled Worker

A mentally disabled worker says he was spanked.As the owner of a supermarket in Waynesville, Ohio, Ron Kronenberger (pictured right) seems to have known he was taking advantage of a mentally disabled worker. After all, Kronenberger allegedly instructed Mark Neace, who volunteered stocking shelves at his market, not to tell anyone about some workplace conditions, which, according to Neace, featured the boss regularly spanking him, according to CBS News.

Kronenberger would "find any little thing wrong with what [Neace] had done and would take him into the office," according to Eric Deters, an attorney representing Neace in a lawsuit against Kronenberger. Then Kronenberg would tell Neace to pull down his pants and he'd beat Neace with a belt and a paddle. Neace, 57, volunteered at the market; but after four such beatings, he allegedly told his sister, Michele Dakin, he didn't want to work at the market and revealed why. "This was someone we trusted . He did this behind our backs,knowing that my brother has problems," Daking told local television outlet, Fox-45. "I'm just really saddened by the whole thing. I really am."

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The nature of Neace's disability has not been described in reports or court documents, but the complaint did identify Neace as being "known around the Waynesville area." In his suit, Neace is seeking a jury trial, claiming assault and battery, in addition to both compensatory and punitive damages.

This is not the first time Kronenberger was accused of spanking a man. As was reported by AOL Real Estate, Kronenberger earlier this year was accused of spanking a tenant for being late with the rent. The tenant, later identified by Reuters as Jimmy Marshall, allegedly met with Kronenberger in a back room at his market to discuss his inability to pay the rent. Kronenberger responded by telling him, "If you're going to act like a child, I'm going to treat you like one." And he then spanked him.

Kronenberger was placed into a diversion program for striking Marshall, according to Reuters. Spankings or not, the job market for mentally disabled Americans is particularly brutal. For instance, one in 3 young adults with autism have no paid job experience, college or technical schooling nearly seven years after high school graduation, according to a study published last May by Pediatrics.

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