CORONA, Calif.-- A Southern California pastor and two followers have pleaded guilty to harming a 13-year-old boy who prosecutors say was pinched with pliers, struck with a shovel, forced to dig a mock grave and threatened with death.
Riverside County prosecutors say Lonny Remmers and his followers entered pleas Monday to inflicting corporal injury on a child. Remmers also pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and the others pleaded to making criminal threats.
Prosecutors said they agreed to the deal because of the state of the evidence and because the boy and his family didn't want to go through a trial.
Nicholas Craig and Darryll Jeter Jr. were sentenced to a year in home confinement.
Remmers could get up to two years in prison. He's also been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in a separate federal case.
Remmers heads Corona's Heart of Worship Community Church, which has 15 to 20 members. Authorities say he brutally disciplined the boy after his mother brought him to a church-run group home.