Charges: Pastor, son beat 12-year-old in church basement

A Minneapolis pastor and his son are facing charges for allegedly beating a 12-year-old boy in the basement of their church.

Last Saturday, witnesses found the boy outside with only shorts and a t-shirt on in subzero temperatures and called 911. He had extensive bruising and was limping.

The victim told police he had been assaulted by his pastor, identified as Dong Wook Kim, 51, and the pastor’s son, Joo Seong Kim, 19, in the basement of the Good News Church on Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis and that he had run away when the two were distracted. He showed officers the large lash marks on his back, which reportedly came from being struck by the pastor with an electrical cord. 

The victim said he had sustained multiple beatings over the last several days. He said his parents were aware the abuse was taking place.

The abuse reportedly started on Dec. 14 and continued until Dec. 17. During this time, the victim said he was forced to get into a push-up position and repeatedly kicked in the head and face, punched or whipped with a wooden stick.

In one instance, the victim said his parents had called the pastor and his son and asked them to pick him up from their home.

Both Dong, the pastor, and his son, Joo, admitted to using a wooden stick to punish the victim and whipping him with an electrical cord. Dong told police he would strike the victim when he moved from the push-up position on the floor. Dong said he “was really upset at the time” over the victim’s rejection of God.

Officers later learned that the victim’s four-year-old sister had also by abused by Dong in the past and was still at the church under his care. She was located, uninjured, and taken into protective custody.

Dong and Joo are currently in custody. Both father and son are being charged with second and third degree assault, as well as malicious punishment of a child.