Two teenage brothers were brutally beaten in church — one fatally — in an effort by their parents, sister and other members to get them to confess their sins, police said Wednesday in a case involving an insular congregation that had sparked gossip and suspicion among neighbors.
Police said spiritual “counseling” at the Word of Life church turned into an hours-long attack Sunday night in which Lucas Leonard, 19, and his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, were pummeled with fists, authorities said. They suffered injuries to the abdomen, genitals, back and thighs.
Eventually, Lucas stopped breathing and relatives took him early Monday to a hospital, where he died, police said. Authorities went to the church and found his younger brother, who was hospitalized in serious condition.
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