Calif. pastor charged with torturing teen

April 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM
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CORONA, Calif., April 4 (UPI) -- The pastor of a Southern California church faces charges of ordering two men to torture a teenager whose mother wanted him disciplined.

Lonny Lee Remmers, 54, pastor of the Heart of Worship Community Church in Corona, Nicholas Craig, in his 20s, and Darryll Duane Jeter Jr., 28, were being held in lieu of $1 million bail after they were arrested Friday, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise reported.

Investigators say Remmers ordered Craig and Jeter to "scare" the 13-year-old boy. Capt. Jerry Rodriguez of the Corona police said they took the boy to the Barstow area, about 100 miles away, where they made him dig a grave, hit him with a shovel and partly buried him.

The boy was held for several days and subjected to other ill treatment, Rodriguez said, including being hurt with pliers by Remmers.

Rodriguez said the boy's mother brought him to a group home operated by the church on March 18 and asked for help with disciplining him. He and his 7-year-old sister are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Heart of Worship operated out of a storefront that is now empty and up for sale, The Press-Enterprise said.

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