Pastor Lonny Lee Remmers, 54, has been charged with felony assault and inflicting injury on a 13-year-old child with pliers and directing two church members to discipline the youth. He is the pastor of the Heart of Worship Community Church in Corona. After his arrest, many parishioners learned that Remmers has previously served time for fraud. Two other church members — Nicholas Craig, 22, and Darryl Duane Jeter Jr., 28 — have also been charged. Craig is Remmers’ stepson.
The boy’s mother had gone to Remmers out of fear that the boy was engaging in sexual misconduct.
Jeter and Craig has been accused of driving the boy into the desert and forcing him to dig a grave. They then allegedly threw dirt on him and then beat him with a belt.
Craig was a volunteer with the Corona Police Department. Remmers was a member of the city’s Youth Safety Task Force.
While they were first investigated for torture, they have not been charged with that higher crime — at least not yet. I am not sure why that charge would not be brought even the alleged evidence that the boy was zip-tied to a chair at the group home and sprayed in the face with Mace. Later, at a church meeting, Remmers is accused of taking a pair of pliers to the boy’s nipples while the victim cried and begged him to stop.
Here is the criminal code definition of the crime of torture:
206. Every person who, with the intent to cause cruel or extreme
pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose, inflicts great bodily injury as defined in Section 12022.7 upon the person of another, is guilty of torture.
The crime of torture does not require any proof that the victim
206.1. Torture is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison
for a term of life.
It is not clear if the problem is a showing of “great bodily injury” but it would seem odd that you can tie a boy to a chair, mace him, and take pliers to his chest but not commit the legal definition of torture.
Remmers served time in 1998 for a telemarketing scam. When he was caught defrauding investors, he then proceeded to start another such scam and was given 46 months in federal prison for criminal contempt. He and his wife, Lisa Remmers, are still being sued in federal court in Ohio in a separate civil fraud case involving a different $10.5 million investment fraud.
Source: PE as first seen on Reddit.