Man Found Guilty Of Violating Order To Stay Away From Daughter

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A man who home schooled his children while making intense demands for achievement has been convicted of violating a court order that he stay away from his 20-year-old daughter.

Thomas Lavery, 57, was convicted Wednesday in Akron Municipal Court of trespass and violating a court order and could soon face sentencing of up to seven months in jail and a $1,250 fine.

He pleaded guilty last year to felony attempted child endangering and misdemeanor child endangering through abusive behavior while pressuring his children into being high achievers.

He was sentenced to probation.

He had been accused of forcing his children to study for long periods without sleep or bathroom breaks. One daughter said he threatened to kill her after she placed second in the National Spelling Bee in 1995.

Marjory Lavery, now 20 and studying and working at the University of Akron, filed child abuse charges against her father in 1998, when she was 17. The youngest of Lavery's five children, Kathleen, now 15, joined Marjory in pressing the abuse charges.

Thomas Lavery is under court order to stay away from any place Marjory may be, but on Dec. 6, Lavery drove his son, Johnny, to the university's admissions office, parked behind it and stayed in the car while his son went inside and met with an adviser.

Lavery knew that Marjory had once worked at the admissions office, but he did not know if she still worked there, he testified.

Marjory saw Johnny enter the front of the building, went upstairs to a rear window and saw her father's car. She called police. Lavery was arrested.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)