Mexican megachurch leader pleads guilty in Los Angeles to sex abuse

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Posted at 8:01 PM, Jun 03, 2022

California prosecutors say the leader of the Mexican megachurch La Luz del Mundo has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three girls.

Naasón Joaquín García pleaded guilty on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court to sexual acts with three of his followers who were minors at the time. The California attorney general's office says he used his spiritual influence to have sex with several female followers.

Naasón Joaquín García
FILE - Naasón Joaquín García, the leader of the fundamentalist Guadalajara, Mexico-based church La Luz del Mundo, appears in Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 5, 2019. Naasón Joaquín García, the leader of the Mexican megachurch La Luz del Mundo, pleaded guilty Friday, June 3, 2022, to sexually abusing three girls, California state prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Garcia has been in jail since 2019 and had vehemently denied the charges. He was scheduled to go on trial on Monday on charges that included human trafficking and child rape.

“García used his power to take advantage of children,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “He relied on those around him to groom congregants for the purposes of sexual assault. Today’s conviction can never undo the harm, but it will help protect future generations.”