Naason Joaquin Garcia, leader and self-styled apostle of the Guadalajara-based church La Luz del Mundo (Light of the World) has been detained for a charge of forced oral copulation with minors.
He took a plea deal and admitted to his crime in other to escape the trial for much more severe grievances which would also include multiple charges of rape.
The leader of this megachurch was sentenced to jail for sixteen years after admitting to three minor girls’ sexual abuse. The investigation of his crime started in 2018 which led to his arrest in 2019 at the Los Angeles International Airport. A Los Angeles judge ordered him to stand trial in August 2020 and his church had defended him in a statement stating that he has been wrongly accused and described his accusations as “unsubstantiated anonymous allegations” and “blatant hearsay”.
His accusers however were not pleased with the plea deal and his sentence which they felt was not a serious charge for his crimes. They felt that they should have been consulted before the deal was given to him. During the victim-impact statements at the hearing on Wednesday in Los Angeles, all the five accusers commented that they felt like the chance they had to confront the leader had been robbed from them.
“We looked up to you, you were our god, and you betrayed us.
You are no more than a predator and an abuser.” One of his accusers said while crying.
La Luz del Mundo is the largest evangelical church in Mexico, founded in the 1920s, and has branches in over fifty countries with about five million members.