CORONA (CBS) — A boy taken to a men’s group home for discipline was instead tortured and abused, according to court documents released Wednesday.
Lonnie Remmers, 54, of Corona, is the pastor of the Heart of Worship Community Church, which operates the men’s group home. Remmers, along with Nicholas Craig, 22, and Darryll Jeter, 28, were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, torture, and child abuse, Corona police said.
The boy, 13, was taken to the home on March 18 by a Corona mother who was seeking guidance for her son.
While at the group home, police say the boy was driven into the desert in Barstow by Craig and Jeter, who both live at the home on West Tenth Street. Under Remmers’ direction, Jeter and Craig were instructed to “scare” the boy and forced the boy to dig a grave and threatened to kill him, police said.
Jeter and Craig also allegedly threw dirt on the boy, hit him with a belt and rubbed salt in his wounds as the boy showered after the desert trip, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Later that day, detectives discovered the boy was taken to Remmers’ home in Corona for Bible study. During the Bible study, Remmers allegedly assaulted the boy, police said. A circle of about 12 men watched as Remmers used pliers to squeeze one of the boy’s nipples, the Press-Enterprise reported.
All three men were freed last month after posting $1 million bail each.