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Who is Naasón Joaquín García? Mexican megachurch leader jailed in US

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For sexually abusing teenage female followers, the leader of the Mexican megachurch La Luz del Mundo was sentenced to more than 16 years in a California prison on Wednesday.

On the eve of a long-awaited trial, Naasón Joaquin Garcia, 53, pled guilty to three felonies in Los Angeles superior court last week.

Prosecutors claim that Garcia, who is regarded as the “apostle” of Jesus Christ by nearly 5 million followers around the world, used his spiritual clout to have sex with girls and young women who were promised it would lead to salvation-or damnation if they refused.

“I never cease to be surprised at what people do in the name of religion and how many lives are damaged under the garb of a supreme god,” said Judge Ronald Coen, who termed Garcia a sexual predator.

After nearly three hours of emotional statements from five young ladies, the sentence was handed down. Garcia was accused of sexual misconduct. They had been his most dedicated servants in the past. In court, however, they referred to him as “evil,” “monster,” “disgusting human garbage,” and the “antichrist.”

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“I idolized my abuser,” a woman identified only as Jane Doe 4 claimed. “He used me like a sacrificial lamb being slaughtered over and over.”

On Friday, Garcia pled guilty to two counts of forcible oral copulation involving minors and one count of a lewd act against a 15-year-old juvenile. Prosecutors dismissed 16 counts of raping children and women, as well as human trafficking to generate child pornography, in exchange for the dismissal of the charges.

The victims protested the plea deal, claiming they were not consulted and only learned about it at the last minute. They pleaded with Coen to inflict a harsher punishment, but he acknowledged the arrangement limited his options.

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He informed them and their supporters, “The world has heard you.” “I swear to you,” says the narrator.

According to the church, which is also known as the Light of the World, Garcia pleaded guilty because he didn’t think he’d get a fair trial.

“With great sadness, the Apostle of Jesus Christ has had no choice but to accept the deal given as the best path forward to preserve the church and his family,” the church said. It reaffirmed its backing for him.

In 1926, Garcia’s grandpa formed a fundamentalist Christian church in Guadalajara. After his father, Samuel Joaquin Flores, died in 2014, Garcia took over as an “apostle.”

The victims’ bravery in standing up to Garcia was recognized by Patricia Fusco, supervising deputy attorney general. She said that their bravery had saved the lives of others.

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“They [the victims] had faith in him.” “They thought he was God on Earth,” Fusco explained. “Of course, we know he’s not God. “Not by a long shot.”

As victims of Naasón Joaquin Garcia speak about the plea deal, Patricia Fusco, supervisory deputy attorney general, drops her head.
As victims of Naasón Joaquin Garcia speak about the plea deal, Patricia Fusco, supervisory deputy attorney general, drops her head.

The victims expressed their joy at being admitted into Garcia’s hidden inner group. They claimed to be angels and were informed that they were Garcia’s property, that his wishes were divine commands, and that they should serve the Lord without question. They claimed that Bible verses were distorted to make them cooperate.

They were also promised that if they spoke out, they would be damned, as would anyone they told.