UPDATED 1:17 PM PT – Thursday, June 9, 2022
The leader of the La Luz Del Mundo Church was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for the sexual abuse of teens. Naasón Joaquín García was sentenced in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, after he pleaded guilty to three felonies just days before his long-awaited trial.
Garcia plead guilty to two counts of forcible oral copulation involving minors and one count of a lewd act on a 15-year-old child. He was scheduled to go on trial Monday. He faced 23 felony counts that included allegations of human trafficking to produce child pornography and rape, but he accepted a last minute plea deal from the California Attorney General’s office.
When he took the plea deal, some of his victims who wanted to testify against him became enraged. They were promised that no plea deal would be offered. In return for the guilty plea, the DA dropped the most serious allegations of five victims from 2015 to 2018.
“As for the Jane Doe, at this point I apologize,” said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen. “My hands are tied. Lawyers do what lawyers do.”
La Luz Del Mundo is the largest evangelical church in Mexico and has branches in more than 50 countries. To his more than five million followers worldwide, Garcia had been considered an “apostle” of Jesus Christ. To his victims, he was Satan incarnated.
“I never consented to having sex with you,” voiced victim, Jane Doe. “I would never have said yes to you.”
Another leader in the church, Alondra Campo, was charged with recruiting teenage girls to dance for Garcia in provocative outfits. If the girls refused, Garcia reportedly told them they were going against God. He claimed an apostle of god like him would never be judged for his actions.
“He said it was a blessing to be with him,” cried out Jane Doe. “As he raped me, he would command me to seal my lips to preserve the blessing he was granting me and I did.”
Prosecutors said the victims were essentially brainwashed by Garcia and were made to feel ostracized by their church community if they didn’t submit to his desires.
“As to those family member who abandoned the Jane Doe’s, shame, shame on you,” stated Coen.