California Man Keeps Getting Sensitive Positions despite Lengthy Criminal Record

By Michael Klazema on 5/23/2012

While pastors at most churches might be someone you’d think you could trust and confide in, that is not the case with the pastor of a church in Corona.  Lonny Lee Remmers overseas a church of about 20 members, one of which is a 13 year old boy who he is accused of assaulting.  This is not the first time Remmers has been in trouble with the law either.  In fact, he has a lengthy criminal record going back to the 1980’s, but for some reason, people continued to trust him with sensitive positions.  In 1989, he attacked a police officer who pulled him over for a vehicle code violation.  That incident left the officer with a dislocated shoulder that caused him to retire and still bothers him today.  Remmers pled guilty and was fined just $1,005 for that offense.  In 1996, he was convicted of fraud after an agreement to pay the Federal Trade Commission was found to be false.  Two years later, he was convicted of criminal contempt, when he still hadn’t met his end of the bargain he got for his earlier plea of guilty in the FTC case. 

After participating in a church choir for a couple of years, he decided to start a website called Fire Escape and Heart of Worship, under which he was able to become a pastor of his own church.  Several patrons of that church say that he controls every aspect of their lives, which is how the incident with the boy likely occurred.  It turns out; the mom brought the boy to Remmers in order to be “straightened out.”  His way of doing this involved having the boy kidnapped, forced to dig his own grave, and then hit with a shovel.  Remmers associates then threw the boy into the grave and somewhat covered him with dirt.  After this, Remmers himself, “assaulted the boy’s nipple with pliers.”  To add to his record, he is now being charged with “assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting corporal injury on a child.”

The pattern of violent behavior Remmers has shown in the past has left him with a criminal record history that did prevent him from getting a police chaplain position he tried to get.  Luckily, unlike local churches, their employees are always required to undergo background checks.  They were wise to turn him away when they saw his history for unethical behavior.  Unfortunately, unlike organizations that partner with employment screening companies like, Remmer’s church patrons did not have access to background checks that utilized national database search products like US OneSEARCH or US AliasSEARCH.  These records available through these products, updated regularly by a dedicated team at, can give organizations criminal histories of potential and current employees who might have crossed into and committed crimes in jurisdictions where the person did not live but worked or travelled.

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