Naasón Joaquín García, leader of La Luz del Mundo, pleads guilty to charges of sexual abuse in the United States

Mexican religious leader Naason Joaquin Garcia He pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors, the California attorney general said Friday.

The guilty plea comes a few days before the start of the trial in Los Angeles in which Garcia, 53, would face more than 20 charges, including rape, extortion and possession of child pornography, among other crimes committed in California.

Naasón Joaquín García, leader of the church The light of the worldadmitted two counts of forced oral sex including minors and another of lewd act with a minor under 15 years.

“Garcia used his power to take advantage of minors. He relied on his entourage to sexually abuse worshipers,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “Today’s conviction cannot reverse the damage, but it will help protect future generations.”

The priest was arrested at the airport in The Angels on June 3, 2019, and since then he has been detained.

Considered his accomplices, Susana Medina Oaxaca and Alondra Ocampo were captured along with him, who in 2020 pleaded guilty to three counts of contacting minors for sexual acts and one count of forced sexual penetration.

Garcia will hear his sentence on Wednesday, and is expected to face several years in prison.

oaxaca she also pleaded guilty and was convicted of assault. A third woman is on the run.

Luz del Mundo was founded in 1926 in Guadalajara by García’s father, Eusebio Joaquín González, who claimed to have had a “divine revelation” in his dreams.

The congregation emerged as a branch of the Apostolic Church of the Faith in Christ Jesus, derived from the Church Pentecostaland its faithful, who are called “Aaronites,” require permission from leading leaders to travel, study, work, or marry.

In March 2020, Mexican authorities froze nearly $20 million in accounts belonging to six people linked to the La Luz del Mundo church.

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