He is the leader of La Luz Del Mundo (Light of the World) church but now, Joaquin Garcia is behind bars accused of human trafficking and much more.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced last Tuesday that mega-church leader Joaquin Garcia and others associated with him face charges of human trafficking, production of child pornography, forcible rape of a minor, among other felonies.
Becerra says Garcia committed the crimes between 2015 and 2018 while leading La Luz Del Mundo, an international religious organization headquartered in Mexico with over one million followers reported worldwide.
In the criminal complaint, it is alleged that García and his “co-defendants” allegedly coerced victims into performing sexual acts by telling them that if they went against any of his desires or wishes as “the Apostle,” that they were going against God.
The other individuals named in the complaint are Alondra Ocampo, Azalea Rangel Melendez, and Susana Medina Oaxaca, all of whom are affiliated with La Luz Del Mundo. In addition to García, Alondra Ocampo and Susana Medina Oaxaca were also arrested.
An arrest warrant has also been issued for Azalea Rangel Melendez, who is currently at large.
Anyone who believed they may have been a victim of sexual abuse or have information about incidents of sexual misconduct related to anyone who may be involved in this case is asked to call 323-765-2100 or you can file a complaint online here.
Garcia’s bail was set at $25 million.
A spokesman for a Mexico-based church vehemently denied the allegations against the man viewed by followers as an apostle of Jesus Christ.
“The church categorically rejects each and every allegation made against him,” Ashley Valdez, spokesman for La Luz del Mundo church told reporters outside a congregation in East Los Angeles. “The apostle of Jesus Christ has always adhered to the law and demonstrated full respect to governmental institutions and the dignity of all persons.”
Church members gathered at the East Los Angeles congregation Wednesday morning to participate in a 24-hour prayer period for Garcia.
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