Skip to comments.[Austin, TX] Church leaders accused in beating -- Boy in intensive care with kidney failure
Posted on 07/09/2002 7:10:44 AM PDT by Illbay
By ARMANDO VILLAFRANCA
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN -- An 11-year-old boy who read the wrong Bible verse at church was severely beaten with a tree branch by a Baptist pastor and the pastor's brother, the boy's family said.
Photo supplied by family attorney Bobby R. Taylor
An 11-year-old boy suffered kidney failure after being beaten on the back and buttocks with a tree branch, a police affidavit says.
The boy suffered kidney failure as a result of the beating and spent the Fourth of July weekend in the intensive care unit of Brackenridge Hospital sedated with morphine, according to a police affidavit.
Austin police issued arrest warrants Monday for Joshua W. Thompson, 22, of Austin, and his twin brother, Caleb D. Thompson. They are wanted on charges of first-degree felony injury to a child.
Joshua Thompson is pastor of the Spanish-language congregation at the Capital City Baptist Church. Caleb Thompson is an assistant to the pastors. They are accused of using an inch-thick tree branch to discipline the boy.
"(The boy) was accused of not taking this very seriously," said Bobby Taylor, an attorney for the family.
According to Taylor and family members, the beating occurred Wednesday while the boy and other children practiced for a Bible competition.
"He was trying to find the verse and he was on the wrong verse, and they thought he was goofing around," the boy's mother said.
She said church assistants summoned Joshua Thompson, who took the boy to Caleb Thompson's house.
Taylor said the boy was placed facedown on a bed and beaten with the tree branch on his back and buttocks. When the boy tried to break free, Caleb Thompson held him down so the beating could continue, Taylor said.
Taylor said the beating lasted 90 minutes, during which the boy was allowed to use the bathroom one time. The boy told his family the Thompsons turned up a radio to drown out his screams.
The family said the Thompsons brought the boy home and suggested he wear long sleeves for a while. The family said one of the brothers told the boy's stepfather, "It's your turn now" and that they suggested he "finish the job."
According to the police affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrants, the stepfather told investigators the Thompsons said they tried to break the child and make him repent from wrongdoing.
"Their idea of discipline was to take him out of school and beat him until he was black and blue," said the boy's uncle, Felipe Garcia.
A photograph provided by Taylor showed deep purple bruises and scabs on the boy's back and buttocks. The police affidavit noted the boy also was bruised on his arms, legs and head.
Attempts to reach the Thompsons on Monday were unsuccessful. Jerald Finney, a lawyer for Joshua Thompson, told the Austin American-Statesman that "facts have been distorted."
"These are two very responsible young men," Finney said. "Anybody can make allegations. That's what the criminal justice system is for -- to sort out truth from fiction."
The boy's mother said she and her family had attended the independent Baptist church for four years and that the sermons never endorsed severe discipline.
"It was a surprise to me; it was shocking," she said. "I never heard nothing like this. I never heard the pastor preach like this. I have no idea why they beat him so badly."
The family intends to file a civil lawsuit against the church.
Nope. This wasn't insanity. This was pure, unadulterated EE-VIL. Turning up the radio shows that the Thompsons knew that what they were doing was morally heinous.
Hanging is too good for such trash.
Yep. Git a rope.
Looks like the "pastors" know that they are in deep stuff and are hiding.
I done said that hangin' is too good for this sort of trash. We need a truck dragging, followed by leaving the body out in the open--hey, buzzards gotta eat, too.
I am just absolutely enraged by this.
Would you accuse the victim of being money-hungry if this act were performed at a mosque by an imam?
Yep, there are control freaks of all varying degrees within religious circles. That chaps my Republican a$$ when somebody gets up and goes on some big ol' ego trip-- cause that's all it is, plain and simple-- and gets hundreds, maybe thousands, to devote their lives to his teachings and interpretations.
Somebody said above that this is what happens when Christians don't interpret the Holy Scriptures for themselves, when they rely entirely on whoever is in the pulpit... Folks should think before signing their lives away to a mere mortal... I guess it's alot less mental work just to take somebody's word for it, that THIS is how you get yer happy a$$ through the pearly gates.
I don't buy. I think the road to Hell is paved with the carcasses of "Christians". I also think that there are many, many different paths to Heaven, and everybody takes his own trip...
What've you got agin' buzzards?
The emphasis on Hell and damnation that some people get obsessed with (and it does trigger a variety of neurotic or psychotic reactions in the mentally unbalanced) gives some kooky types the idea that they have an opportunity to begin the punishment (permitted to God for the great beyond) here and now. Strange phenomenon, but it does exist among unbalanced types, certain control freaks, sadists, etc. You find similar phenomena among Communists,Nazis, and members of other non-Christian cults or ideologies. It's a psychological syndrome. I can't stand when people present this in a Christian context.
It's a betrayal of the faith, really, is what it is-- a betrayal of the worst kind. Pedophilic priests are committing the same transgression. Surely Christ had these people in mind when he made his "millstones" comment...
It is time to clean house, if you truly fear God and desire justice.
Despite what others here might think, if people like this were delivered to "true" Christians for justice, I suspect the punishment would be more sure and swift than otherwise. I do believe that "true" Christians, hungering and thirsting for truth as they do, desire justice like they desire water and air.