Ohio man Lawrence Featheroff has been sentenced to 30 months in prison over the beating and threatening of his younger disabled brother in an effort to turn him straight.
Featheroff, 38, had been entrusted with looking after his 26-year-old brother Jason Meyers who suffers from a developmental disorder after he had been abused in a group home despite having prior convictions for domestic violence.
Police were contacted by a concerned sibling who was worried Meyers was being physically assaulted and when they arrived to check in on him on 15 January they found him suffering a concussion and a sprained ankle with bruises all over his face.
Meyers later told police that Featheroff, his girlfriend Jamie Smith and a family friend, Brent Disbennet, had punched him repeatedly, allowed him to eat only once a day and made him run up and down a hill while carrying a heavy railroad tie.
Featheroff also threatened his brother with a butchers knife, telling him that he would cut off his genitals if he was gay.
Featheroff told police that he had become angry after his brother confided to him that he was attracted to other males.
Detective Brian Lowe told Fairfield County Common Pleas Court that Featheroff had told him he had ‘wanted to toughen him up to push the gay out of him and make him a normal person.’
Meyers and Featheroff are two of eight siblings by different fathers that were removed from their mother’s home due to abuse or neglect but the siblings have reunited as adults to form a family.
Meyers is now living in adult foster care.
Smith and Disbennet have both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and their cases are still pending.