A Waynesville, Ohio landlord allegedly whipped two adult men, including a mentally disabled man, with belts and paddles over late rent, court records obtained by The Associated Press reveal.

Ronald Kronenberger, 53, was charged with assault on March 7 after a 29-year-old man said he struck him repeatedly with a belt over $2,000 in past-due rent, saying all the while: "If you're going to act like a child, I'm going to treat you like one."

But that may not have been the end of his behavior. A lawsuit filed this week accuses Kronenberger of spanking yet another man, in a series of assaults that were not reported to the police.

The lawsuit, filed by Mark Neace, accuses Kronenberger of assault on four different occasions while Neace worked in Kronenberger's grocery store. Neace's attorney reportedly said the suit could be worth up to $100,000.

In addition to owning a grocery store and rental property, Kronenberger was the city of Waynesville's Citizen of the Year in 2006, according to The Dayton Daily News. He also previously ran the Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the AP added.

If a judge in the assault case finds that the lawsuit constitutes a repeat offense, The Dayton Daily News noted that Kronenberger could face up to six months in jail.


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