The pastor and two members of a California church have pleaded guilty to torturing a 13-year-old boy and forcing him to dig his own grave after he raped his younger sister.
The mother and two children were staying in a group home operated by the Heart of Worship Community Church; the mother allegedly asked Pastor Lonny Lee Remmers and two other men to “teach her son to be a man” reports the Christian Post. Remmers, Nicholas James Craig and Darryll Duane Jeter, Jr. then assaulted the boy with a deadly weapon and forced him to dig a grave where the men threatened to bury him alive.
The affidavit says, “[The boy] said he dug for one to one and-a-half hours. He was then told to get into the hole and was told that depending on how he acts would determine if he would leave alive."
“[Redacted] said he was afraid he was going to be killed and begged both Nick and DJ for one more chance. [Redacted] said he tried to get out of the hole, Nick and DJ began to throw dirt onto him. [Redacted] feared he was going to be buried alive. He was also struck with belts as he tried to get out of the hole. [Redacted] was eventually let out of the hole…"
The abuse continued when the boy was returned to the group home, where the men tied him to a chair and sprayed mace in his face.
Pastor Remmers’ sentence will be released on Sept. 26; the district court is pushing for two years in prison. Craig and Jeter both received a year of home confinement and three years of probation.
Riverside County District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall said, “"There were new developments, which we will not be discussing, that caused us to believe this was the best disposition for all those involved. The victim and his family did not want this to proceed to trial, and we also considered that aspect."
Publication date: July 10, 2014