Texas Boy Nearly Beaten to Death by Pastor- Police

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Texas Boy Nearly Beaten to Death by Pastor- Police

Tue Jul 9, 5:54 PM ET

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas police on Tuesday sought a Baptist pastor and his twin brother on charges they used a tree branch to beat an 11-year-old boy nearly to death for misbehaving in a Bible class.

Investigators sought Joshua Thompson, 23, and his twin brother Caleb Thompson for the July 3 incident, which left the Louie Guerrero in intensive care for four days after broken blood vessels caused his kidneys to fail, court records say.

Both men are charged with a single count of felony injury to a child, according to an affidavit filed on Monday.

Court records allege the 90-minute beating was to physically "break" Louie for lying, Joshua Thompson allegedly told the boy's stepfather afterward.

Joshua Thompson acts as pastor and holds separate services for the Spanish-speaking members of Capital City Baptist Church, of which his father is the pastor. Caleb Thompson helps out at the church.

The child was at a Bible study program when he angered Joshua Thompson so much that he was removed from class. Joshua and his brother allegedly took Louie to Caleb Thompson's house for the beating, where they turned up the radio to cover the child's cries, police said.

The two men then took Louie back to his home, where they met his mother and stepfather and said they had a "big problem." Joshua Thompson told the boy's stepfather that he should "beat Louie for two more hours" to fix it.

"Do it!" Thompson said three times, according to court papers. Thompson said he would not allow Louie back to the church, so his bad example could not affect the other children.

After the Thompsons left, Louie's mother and stepfather discovered bruises and cuts covering the child's entire back, with bruises on his head, neck buttocks and legs.

"They hit me," Guerrero told his mother, according to the affidavit. He told his mother that Caleb Thompson held him face-down on a bed while Joshua flogged him with the stick for about an hour and a half, court records say.

The boy was allowed to take a break in the restroom during the beating, records say.

Jerald Finney, a lawyer for Joshua Thompson, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Louie Guerrero's family plans to file a civil suit against the Thompsons as well.

-- (fascist texas @ bible-thumpers. = boy-thumpers), July 10, 2002

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