‘Victory for the victims’: La Luz del Mundo ‘cult’ leader faces new charges

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The leader of Mexico-based evangelical megachurch La Luz del Mundo, who is apparently running 18 Houston congregations while serving a state prison sentence for sexually abusing girls, has now been charged with two counts of child pornography.

Naasón Joaquín García, 53, was charged this week with felony crimes alleging he “produced and possessed” child pornography, according to the U.S. Justice Department. García, who is set to make his initial appearance in federal court in Los Angeles in the upcoming weeks, could face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison if convicted of both counts.

In the indictment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California accused García of forcing a 16 year old to “to engage in sexually explicit conduct” to record, save and share images and possessing an iPad which contained five videos of child pornography.

Former believers in Houston who say the “cult-like” church taught them to view García as the apostle of Jesus Christ and to keep silent during his court proceedings are celebrating the new charges. Yet they worry for family members who continue to attend daily gatherings across the city in support of their spiritual leader. “The federal charges are a sign of relief,” Elisa Flores, who attended services at La Luz del Mundo in Houston for 46 years, said Thursday. “Finally, this is a victory for the victims of this cult. It’s a way to keep the children safe.”

Content retrieved from: https://www.chron.com/culture/religion/article/la-luz-del-mundo-houston-18450628.php.

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