Pastor Allegedly Admitted to Performing Exorcism on Child and Doing Meth with Parishioners

A pastor under investigation in a child abuse case after allegedly attempting an exorcism on a toddler was arrested in Arkansas last week on drug charges.

Lloyd Eddie Lasker Jr., 49, was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a gun by a convicted felon, the Kansas City Star reported Tuesday.

The arrest comes four days after police were called to Lasker’s church, the House of Refuge and Deliverance, in Mayflower, Arkansas, on September 18.

Conway police detective Brittani Little said in an affidavit filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court that upon arriving at the church, she discovered a 21-month old “with multiple bruises from head to toe,” according to the Kansas City Star.

Little said in the affidavit that the toddler had been admitted to the hospital, and had “a brain bleed and extreme malnourishment.”

As police conducted their investigation into the alleged abuse, they sought Lasker to ask about the child.

On Sept. 22, members of the department’s drug task force attempted to reach Lasker at his residence, but the pastor was not home, an incident report obtained by PEOPLE states.

The officers found Lasker’s truck at a gas station in town, discovering four grams of meth as well as paraphernalia for smoking it in his truck, according to the incident report

Lasker allegedly told officers that he had used meth in the past — including with the 21-month-old’s mother and other church members — but did not know there were drugs in the car at that time, the Kansas City Starreported. He also allegedly admitted to having a shotgun at his house and to being a felon.

The Kansas City Star reported that according to authorities Lasker also admitted to trying to “exorcise the demon” out of the 21-month-old, but would reportedly not say how he attempted the exorcism.

Lasker appeared in court on September 23, the Kansas City Star reported and is set to appear in court again on October 13.

It was not immediately clear if Lasker had legal representation.

The church could not be reached for comment. The Conway Police Department and the Faulkner County Circuit Clerk did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

*story by People