Three men, one of them a pastor, pled guilty to a horrifying crime: torturing a 13-year-old boy and giving him a taste of death.

The pastor, Lonny Remmers, and his two followers, Nicholas Craig and Darryll Jeter Jr. entered guilty pleas Monday to inflicting corporal injury on a child, KCBS-TV reported, with Remmers also pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and the other two men pleading guilty to making criminal threats.

The three men were associated with the small Heart of Worship mission in Corona, California, the news station reported.

In September 2012, police testified that the trio had forced the boy to “dig his own grave,” KCBS-TV reported.

“They told him to get in the hole,” said Corona police Detective Brad Voorhees. “He said he kept trying to get out, but they kept pushing him… kicking him back in. He said they told him, ‘This is what it feels like to be dead.’”

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

In a sad twist, the 13-year-old boy may not be an entirely innocent victim; the boy’s mother reportedly brought him to pastor Remmers and asked that he keep the teenager in a group home setting because she believed the boy had sexually assaulted his 7-year-old sister.

The retribution Remmers and his accomplices inflicted on the boy allegedly included such horrifying incidents as one in which Remmers abused the boy with a pair of pliers and said, “If it was up to me, I’d rip off your nipple and take a chunk out of your d***.”

Craig and Jeter were sentenced to a year in home confinement, KCBS-TV reported, while the pastor could face up to two years in prison.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter