Judge Denies Bail For Megachurch Leader

Photo Credit: QUERETARO 24-7

The Apostle of Jesus Christ, Naasón Joaquín García, is the International President of the La Luz del Mundo Church. He was born on May 7, 1969 in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, Jalisco. As the Atheist Republic reported last month, Naasón Joaquín García was arrested for a slew of crimes that occurred between 2015 and 2018. He was charged with child rape, human trafficking, and other serious crimes.

La Luz del Mundo is a fundamentalist Christian church whose name translates to The Light of the World.  This megachurch boasts more than 15,000 churches in 58 countries on its website. La Luz del Mundo was founded by Garcia’s grandfather in 1926 and has been the subject of numerous child sex abuse allegations for years without any criminal charges filed. The followers must adhere to a strict moral code in exchange for the promise of eternal salvation.

According to a testimony from law enforcement officer and forensic examiner Steven Stover, the video, which was found on an iPad that officials seized from Garcia, depicts the defendant having intercourse with a woman while she performs oral sex on an underage male. Stover also said he found child pornography on an iPhone that was taken from Garcia.

The testimony was enough for Superior Court Judge David Fields to grant prosecutors’ request to deny the possibility of bail to Garcia. He has pleaded not guilty to rape of a minor, among other sexual offenses.

Back then, David Correa, a spokesman from the church’s headquarters, said in a phone call that they learned about the charges from the media. “We categorically deny those false accusations,” Correa said. “We know him personally and he is an honorable and honest man.” About 1,000 worshippers gathered to pray for García as he was held in Los Angeles on $25 million bail. Luckily, Judge Fields has granted the prosecution’s request to deny bail for García.

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In a visibly angry voice, Fields said that he believed there is enough evidence to sustain a conviction and that Garcia would pose a risk to the community if he were released on bail.

“This is a man who preyed on young girls,” he said. “Religion was used against these girls. They were told that if they didn’t comply [sexually], they were sinning.”

Referring to claims by Garcia’s defense attorneys that a witness for prosecutors had been working to frame the apostle, the judge said, “These images are not planted on his phone by a conspiracy against him.”

Los Angeles Times reports that an amended criminal complaint against Garcia and his co-defendants describes how women allegedly helped procure and prepare young girls for his pleasure. Prosecutors have claimed that Garcia leveraged his status as the head of a church where girls are taught that they must do anything to please the apostle.

Denying the possibility of bail to the Megachurch leader was a great move by Judge David Fields. Let’s hope the punishment will be equally severe.

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