Mexico-based megachurch leader Naason Joaquin Garcia was sentenced to 6 years and 8 months in prison for child sex abuse, according to The Washington Examiner.
The leader of La Luz del Mundo, 53, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles last Friday to two counts of forceful oral copulation involving minors and committing an indecent act on a kid According to NBC News.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a statement about the sentence that came as a result of a multi-year investigation by the California Department of Justice:
“Today’s sentence for Naasón Joaquín García is a critical step forward for justice,” said Attorney General Bonta.
“While it will never undo the harm and trauma he caused as the leader of La Luz del Mundo, this sentence makes it crystal clear that abusers — no matter who they are — will be held accountable. Sexual assault is never acceptable.
“My heart goes out to all those affected by the horrific actions brought to light during this case. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to stand up for survivors and fight back against abuse.”
Garcia’s guilty plea came just three days before his trial for 23 felony counts, including multiple rapes, human trafficking, and child pornography.
ABC7 reported that prosecutors claimed Garcia used his position as a spiritual leader to have sex with multiple female followers.
According to the California attorney general, García will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.
The California Department of Justice reported that their Victims’ Services Unit (VSU) has been a direct resource for survivors and their families throughout the case, providing support and information at every level of the investigation. VSU collaborates with victim service providers and frontline prosecutors across the state to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive support services to all crime victims, particularly those who are underserved, at-risk, underrepresented, or vulnerable.