Megachurch leader Naasón Joaquín Garcia sentenced to over 16 years in prison
Written by CBS Los Angeles staff:
“The leader of a Mexico-based evangelical megachurch has been sentenced to over 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to three sex-related counts involving minors.
Naasón Joaquín Garcia — the leader of La Luz del Mundo (Light of the World) — was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty Friday to two counts of forcible oral copulation involving minors and one count of a lewd act upon a child who was 15 years old.
Earlier Friday, victims asked a judge to reject the plea deal or sentence the defendant to a far longer prison term.
The California Department of Justice arrested Garcia and two other members of the church, Susana Medina Oaxaca and Alondra Ocampo, in 2019. Prosecutors said that the crimes dated back to at least 2015.
Oaxaca pleaded guilty to one count of assault likely to cause great bodily injury on Friday also. Ocampo pleaded guilty to three felony counts of contact with a minor for the purposes of committing a sexual offense and one count of forcible sexual penetration two years ago.
Authorities continue to search for a fourth suspect, Azalea Rangel Melendez.
In addition to his prison time, Garcia is expected to be ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.”