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Firefighters among those accused for not reporting child abuse

Police, firefighters and other professionals were expected to report the alleged abuse of children by a church pastor

By Leslie Parrilla
The Press Enterprise

CORONA, Calif. — Former members of a Corona church where the pastor is accused of child abuse say a police officer, firefighter and other professionals failed to protect children from psychological and physical harm, even though those professionals are trained to report child abuse.

The professionals - "mandated reporters" required by state law to report child abuse if they learn about it while working - may have failed to act because they were torn between the law and a church culture. Ex-members contend the Heart of Worship church, led by Pastor Lonny Remmers, allowed mental, emotional and physical abuse of children and discouraged anyone from questioning it.

Full story: Firefighters among those accused for not reporting child abuse

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Matthew Turner Matthew Turner Monday, December 10, 2012 2:15:34 PM Everyone hear should be in trouble, for years everyone thinks hiding child molesters and abusers is ok if it has to do with a church.Must be nice to commit crimes and then hide behind their god.Lets start protecting the kids and not some book.
Harriet Engle Harriet Engle Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:20:04 PM That's not a church, that's a gorram charismatic cult in disguise. This is inexcusable.
Ron Ayotte Ron Ayotte Wednesday, December 12, 2012 4:40:45 AM Sometimes, religious groups believe their church leader is delivering "God's authority," which takes "precedence over society's authority, Winston said. Those professionals still have legal obligations, she said. "In the United States the free exercise clause of the First Amendment gives us the right to believe anything we want but not to do anything we want, especially if we put others in harms' way," Winston said. Kraus said that, in Remmers' church, society's laws were secondary. "This church felt they were above the laws of the world, and that they were above having to answer to the police or social workers or to anyone," Krauss said. She said Remmers never planned to report allegations that the teenage boy had molested his sister. "I remember Lonny (saying) … 'We're not going to let the police handle it. We're going to handle it,'" Krauss said. When Remmers spoke, it was like the Lord was speaking through him, she said, and church members listened."We don't discuss anything with anybody outside the church. If there's a problem, we go to him," Larkey said, characterizing Remmers' directive. "He would say because that's the church, he's the shepherd and we were his sheep, and everyone goes to him." Some members were financially, emotionally and socially dependent on Remmers and the church, creating additional dependence. Krauss said she didn't seek outside help to avoid triggering Remmers' temper." That's not a church, it's a cult.. and his followers are lemmings. The "mandated reporters" did not have the courage to stand up for a child.
Lori Jean Lynk Lori Jean Lynk Saturday, December 22, 2012 5:57:35 PM I don't think it is our duty to uphold the church practices. I think we, as people who do our best to save lives, need to report such abuses and leave it up to the courts to decide the legalities. We are better off erring on the side of the people than the church.

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