OAN’s Abril Elfi
1:09 PM – Thursday, October 26, 2023
A Mexican megachurch leader who is currently serving time in prison was charged with two federal charges.
Prosecutors announced that megachurch leader Naasón Joaquín García, 54, who is serving more than 16 years in a California prison for sexually abusing young followers, was charged on Wednesday with two federal crimes involving a 16-year-old girl.
According to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office, the federal charges given by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles are for possessing and producing child pornography.
“We did not indict until after the state case was finished,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.
García was the head of the La Luz del Mundo, which reportedly claims to have 5 million followers worldwide and considered García to be an “apostle” of god.
Prosecutors stated that the 54-year-old would use his spiritual sway to have sex with young women telling them that it would “lead to their salvation.”
Last year, he pleaded guilty to two state counts of forcible oral copulation involving minors and one count of a lewd act upon a 15-year-old.
In exchange, prosecutors in California dropped 16 counts, including claims of raping children and women, as well as human trafficking to create child pornography.
The church stated at the time that García pleaded guilty because he did not believe he would receive a fair trial after prosecutors withheld or doctored evidence, and the accord would allow him to be released sooner.
If convicted, García faces up to 15 to 30 years in prison for producing the child pornography and up to 10 years for having it.
The former leader is currently serving his prior sentence at the California Institution for Men in Chino.
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