An Irvine couple, who thought their teenage son might be smoking, gave a fellow church member permission to beat him, according to police.
Paul Kim, 39 has been charged with a felony in relation to the incident. On Monday, the school reported that the teen had bruises on the back of his legs to Child Protective Services, who then notified San Bernardino County Sheriff. Authorities discovered that Kim, and the boy’s parents attended the same church, thought to be the Emanuel Lutheran Church in La Habra, California, according to the Daily Mail.
In a statement, officials said, “Irvine police learned that the victim’s father dropped the victim off at Paul Kim’s home in Chino Hills to be disciplined after finding a lighter in the victim’s possession and suspecting that he had been smoking.”
Kim allegedly beat the teenage boy repeatedly in the legs with a one-inch thick metal pole, after parents discovered a lighter in the teens possession. The district attorney for the county may charge the father with a crime as well, since authorities feel that the boy’s parents consented to the beating.
According to reports, authorities think that other parents in the La Habra church congregation also implored Kim to use corporal punishment on their children.
A neighbor of Kim’s told LA’s CBS news affiliate, “I taught for 41 years and I’ve never heard anything stupid like that.”
Kim is free after posting $100,000 bond. No court date has been set.