Corona, CA: Pastor, 2 men jailed in kidnapping, abuse case

Editor's Note: Karma Mr. Remmers, Karma!

The pastor of a small Corona church and two of his followers are in jail on suspicion of kidnapping, torture and child abuse, among other allegations, in what police say was a “terrible and tragic” way to discipline a 13-year-old boy.

Over the course of several days, the Corona teen was forced to dig a grave, beaten with a shovel, tied up, pepper sprayed and pinched with pliers, said Corona police Capt. Jerry Rodriguez.

The youngster’s ordeal began March 18 when his mother brought him to a group home in the 700 block of West 10th Street operated by the Heart of Worship Community Church in Corona and asked for guidance on how the boy should be disciplined.

Pastor Lonnie Remmers, 54, is accused of directing two men, Nicholas Craig, who is in his 20s, and Darryll Duane Jeter Jr., 28, to scare the boy, police said.

Craig and Jeter drove the boy from the group home 100 miles to the Barstow area, where the teen was forced to dig a grave, threatened with death, beat with a shovel and half-buried, Rodriguez said in a telephone interview.

When the boy was brought back to Corona, the torture continued, police said. At one point, he was brought to the pastor’s home on Sloan Drive for Bible study, where police say he was tortured by the pastor with a pair of pliers. Police said the boy did not require hospitalization.

All three men were arrested Friday and are being held in county jail in Riverside in lieu of $1 million bail apiece. They are all Corona residents. Craig and Jeter are being held on suspicion of kidnapping, torture, child abuse and conspiracy. Remmers is being held on suspicion of torture, child abuse and conspiracy.

The boy and his 7-year-old sister have been taken into custody of Child Protective Services. His mother, who is 30, was staying at another group home in Corona, police said.

The Heart of Worship church lists an address of 400 N. Main Street in Corona. The storefront location, a former dance studio, is now closed and the space is up for lease. It is in a strip mall that includes a dentist, hair salon, income tax preparation business, T-shirt shop, discount store and a former Rite Aid pharmacy.

“Our mission at the Heart of Worship is to raise the church body to be true disciples of Christ, meaning that if Christ would not think it, say it, or do it, neither will we,” said a statement on the church’s website.

The group home on West 10th Street is a single-story stucco house near an elementary school. A man who answered the door would say only that it is a Christ-centered re-entry home for men.


Anonymous said...

How can this man claim to be a pastor following Jesus. Jesus would never treat anyone, and especially not a child, in such a manner. I do hope the remaining church members see the light and run as far and as quickly as they can from this place that claims to be a church. Wake up people!!!!

cissi said...

Satan likes to slip in and make us believe the worst before you begin to know the truth of the situation. This is satans way of drowning out the church. Don't believe what you read cos it probally is all a lie from the pit.

Anonymous said...

How can this be god will. I'm a non practicing catholic and I no that this is not the way god would discipline anyone how can u b a pastor or a follower and think that this is right. How is digging your own grave or getting pinched with pliers gods way.

cissi said...

We must have faith that it is Gods will to use Pastor Lonny as walking living testimony. I choose to be positive for him and trust God for what He has for him.There is a great book in the bible (Job) KJV maybe you will get some insight on how God's plan was for Job. Its your choice.