"My Trusty Gavel" by Brian Turner / CC BY 2.0

Court drops rape, other charges against megachurch leader

Apr 10, 2020

By Stefanie Dazio

A California appeals court ordered the dismissal of a criminal case Tuesday (April 7) against a Mexican megachurch leader on charges of child rape and human trafficking on procedural grounds.

Naasón Joaquín García, the self-proclaimed apostle of La Luz del Mundo, has been in custody since June after his arrest on accusations involving three girls and one woman between 2015 and 2018 in Los Angeles County. Additional allegations of the possession of child pornography in 2019 were later added. He has denied wrongdoing.

While being held without bail in Los Angeles, García has remained the spiritual leader of La Luz del Mundo, which is Spanish for “The Light of the World.” The Guadalajara, Mexico-based evangelical Christian church was founded by his grandfather and claims 5 million followers worldwide.

It was not clear when García would be released.

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