May 19, 2005

Four in 'cult-like' church charged with abusing children

The Advocate

By The Associated Press

PONCHATOULA -- Within the walls of Hosanna Church in this southeastern Louisiana town, children, dogs and cats were sexually abused by a minister and his "cult-like" group of members, authorities alleged.

So far, four people -- including a sheriff's deputy -- have been jailed and authorities say as many as a dozen adults may have been involved in victimizing as many as 24 children, ranging in age from infants to teens.

The case broke when church pastor Louis Lamonica walked into the sheriff's office Monday and allegedly started talking about the crimes and his involvement and giving the names of others.

"He said he was educating the children in sexual exploits and how to have sex," said Livingston Parish sheriff's Detective Stan Carpenter. "We didn't know how to take it. The man just came in off the street."

Lamonica, 45, was arrested and booked on two counts of aggravated rape and one count of crime against nature.

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2005 08:17 PM