By KELIN DILLON
On Wednesday, June 8, the leader of Mexico’s controversial La Luz del Mundo Church, Naasón Joaquín García, son of church founder Eusebio Joaquín González, was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in a U.S. prison by a judge in Los Angeles on charges surrounding his sexual abuse of three minor girls in his congregation.
Originally arrested and imprisoned in the United States in 2019, allegations against Joaquín García’s corrupt leadership extend beyond the parameters of his plea deal; the Messianic figure of the La Luz del Mundo Church has likewise been accused of human trafficking and child pornography, charges that earned him a $90 million bail, the highest ever in California history.
Joaquín García and his legal counsel have long attempted to distance himself from the allegations, claiming the evidence against the 53-year-old was fabricated and requesting for the trial’s dismissal. However, in light of the more than 20 charges brought against him, Joaquín García elected to plea out to three acts of sexual abuse against minors
“You are a sexual predator,” said L.A. Judge Ronald Cohen at the time of sentencing, which will now see the self-proclaimed “Apostle of Jesus Christ” imprisoned for more than 16 years in a U.S. penitentiary – which are notoriously rough on inmates convicted for minor abuse – and registered as a sex offender upon his ultimate release.
Joaquín González’s victims and their families, who spoke at the sentencing against the La Luz del Mundo Church leader, were purportedly disappointed in the sentencing’s outcome as they had been previously advocating for life imprisonment, and may look to seek further civil litigation against the former religious figurehead instead.
The disgraced La Luz del Mundo Church leader is scheduled to reappear in court on Aug. 18, where the sum of financial restitution owed to his victims will be determined.