DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

Father Of "Jessi Slaughter" Busted For Child Abuse

Cops: Man punched daughter, 12, during argument

Jessi Slaughter

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Jessi Slaughter's Dad

MARCH 25--The father of “Jessi Slaughter,” the 12-year-old girl who last year became the victim of a vicious online swarm, was arrested last month on a felony child abuse charge for allegedly punching his daughter in the mouth during an argument, The Smoking Gun has learned.

Gene Leonhardt, 53, was busted for striking his daughter Jessica, who told Florida cops that she had been arguing with her father when he “punched her, causing her to have a bloody and swollen lips.”

According to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report, a deputy stated that, “I did see that just inside the victim’s mouth on the right side were minor cuts which would be consistent with the victim’s statement. I also saw blood on the victims mouth and chin area.”

When questioned by police, Leonhardt said that he had “slapped” the child after she punched him in the mouth. He also claimed that Jessica, a seventh grade student, “was wearing ‘theatrical blood’ which he stated the victim had put on.” Leonhardt is pictured in the above mug shot taken following his February 17 bust.

Jessica’s controversial YouTube videos last summer initially drew the scorn of denizens, who then triggered a wave of online bullying and retribution. In the midst of that campaign, the girl filmed a teary response in which she said that her anonymous tormentors “have ruined my life.”

That video, seen below, includes a cameo by a yelling Leonhardt, who warns trolls that “you done goofed” and that he had reported them “to the cyberpolice.” He added that, “Consequences will never be the same.” Leonhardt’s unhinged comments have been widely lampooned online, becoming one of several Internet memes launched by the “Jessi Slaughter” incident.  

Bonnie Dean, who lives near the Leonhardt residence in Dunnellon, told investigators that she was walking her dog when she heard “adults yelling and screaming.” She said that Jessica then ran up to her and she noticed that the girl “had a bloody mouth and that her lip was running blood and her face was swollen.”

Dean also recalled that the child said, “They’re hurting me,” and ran off when her father approached. Deputy Michael Turner reported that Leonhardt “smelled of alcohol and appeared slightly intoxicated.”

In addition to redacting Jessica’s name from the incident report, sheriff’s officials also appear to have removed references to the girl’s mother Dianne.

Leonhardt, who was arraigned Tuesday, has pleaded not guilty to the child abuse charge and is free on $5000 bond, according to court records. His next Circuit Court appearance is scheduled for Jul 14. (3 pages)

Comments (26)

Looks like he Dun Goofed up
If she can't deal with the interpipes, she shouldn't be on the interpipes. Doesn't she know it isn't a big truck you can just put things on. Pssh!
WOW....just wow.....this is bizarre ....please , somebody get a message to thesew people to unplug that computor and stop paying 4 internet and get that poor teenager a nice dose of reality for a good while...and maybe even watch a litte tv...the girl needs some real people to show her some to her.....get her to see the difference between words on a screen and images on line.......cuz this is just sad that some thing you see on your computor is controlling your whole family and causing you to break down like
Did you go to school? Ever?
You people are of equal intelligence to this father if these comments truly reflect your opinions and beliefs. He thought the exact same things and the situation progressed and evolved until he no longer could control it-hell he couldnt even appear composed. The idiocy lies in all parties here and the only ones to blame are all of you watching and laughing rather than teaching. There are two kinds of evil in the world, one worse than the other: the evil that lies within that some cant control which manifests in murder and sadism; and the second, worse evil - the indifference of good people(you).
Wait, good people are evil?
If I found out my daughter was posting nudes of herself all over the internet & masturbating on cam in chat rooms I'd punch her in the face too.
I'm wich chu !!
I beleive that parents should be able to beat (discipline) their children until the child turns eighteen, children should be seen, and NOT heard, quit mollycoddling these children and stand up for your right to parent your children your own way and not the governments way, remove all platforms that give these juvenile delinquents their power, no phone, and absolutely no computer,make the child interact with others face-to-face, and see how many other people punch the little ***s in the face!
I just viewed, for the 1st time, the INfamous video of this sniveling little brat. W/ dad trying to sound like a poor man's Hulk Hogan, it appears ther household is chaotic. What needs to be questioned is the sanity of this young harlot, constantly adjusting her tight outfit to a more alluring fit, for just staying ONLINE in the 1st place!!! If there's A-holoes out there berating her, then get off the computer! If there's evidence, turn it over to the POlice (as Hulk dad sez). GO READ A BOOK @ CONTROLLING ONE'S BEHAVIOR!!! This girl is sick, & not from the cyberbullies. I wouldn't be bit surprised if the police DID find fake blood on her lips. If not, well then drunk dad needs rehab anyway & Jessi needs long-term therapy. And where's mom in all this? Oh, well, just another plot for the Jersey Shore crowd. Yeccchhhh!!!
We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. Also; HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA***HA!!!!
amen to that
Can't say that I was surprised to learn that this occurred in Florida.
He done goofed. Consequences will never be the same for his anus.
What a shame: no peace at school, no peace at home. All I can say is: Jessi, find yourself a couple of good friends, ignore everybody else, and in 6 years you will be free to start your life over again in a bigger town where the population is not composed of first class a-holes.
You Dun Goofed
Man I really feel for that poor girl. Shes really been through a lot.
Jessi got slaughtered.
This poor child. I hope she can get some help now. The parents are so incompetent. A decent parent would not allow her to get online and do this to herself but.... it probably keeps her occupied so they don't have to spend time with her. She needs somebody to get her offline, spend a lot of time with her doing activities that will build up her self esteem. There are always going to be trolls on the internet. It comes with the territory. I cried when I saw this video. Poor child
Cyber police, Florida District ??? Commander Hunt???? Accompanied video??? I hope that this so-called cyber police clown realize that an act of verbal identification falsely portraying oneself as a sworn law enforcement officer, special agent or agent, is illegal here in the United States, warrants an immediate investigation with subsequent arrest and does carry a custodial sentence if found guilty of same.
Hopefully, consequences will never be the same for this jerk.
Poor girl. What embarassing parents. They didn''t seem to mind (until now that she's been bashed) that their daughter was online, communicating with who knows what kind of people and they sure don't mind that she's wearing such a low cut top (though she did try to pull it up to cover her chest). Maybe they made her wear it for the web cam for all we know because there are some parents out there who would 'pimp' their kids for 'fame or fortune'. The girl is only 12, so nothing bad needs to be said about her. If you're going to say anything ugly, say it about her parents.
well said! it's all about the parents
Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
They checked the bruises on her face and backtraced it to his knuckles.