A man portrayed as a church enforcer of discipline on the children of church members has been arrested for allegedly beating an Irvine teen with a metal pipe at least a dozen times.
Paul Kim, 39, of Chino Hills, made his $100,000 bail Thursday at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamongo after being arrested Tuesday on suspicion of felony child cruelty, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
According to the criminal complaint, the parents of the 15-year-old boy found him with a cigarette lighter and took him to the home of Kim, who attends the same La Habra church as the family, for discipline. Kim is accused of using a metal pole about an inch in diameter to repeatedly strike the boy, who suffered bruising to his legs.
An adult at the teen's school saw the bruises and called Irvine Police. That department investigated but turned the case over to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department after it was determined the actual lashes were apparently delivered in Chino Hills.
It's unclear which church the principle attended. Some reports refer to it as a Lutheran church in La Habra. Whichever congregation it is, sheriff's investigators fear other children there have received similar beatings.Meanwhile, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office is also looking into the role of the teen's father in the incident under investigation.
The sheriff's department released this photo of Kim in case anyone has information that can help investigators. If you do, call Detective Tyson Niles of the sheriff's Crimes Against Children Detail at 909.387.3615.