Sexual abuse victims of church leader asked to come forward

News

The State Attorney General is expected to hold a press conference Thursday about the arrest of the leader of a large church based in Mexico.

The Department of Justice is asking any other victims to come forward. 

This whole investigation started last year after the department received complaints of abuse online.

The leader of the church, Naason Joaquin Garcia, is facing a number of charges including child rape, human trafficking and production of child pornography. 

The crimes allegedly happened in southern California between 2015 and 2018.

The church, La Luz del Mundo has over 15,000 churches around the world including several here in the valley. 

The church in Central Fresno has about 600 parishioners and holds service every day of the week. 

The church is standing behind their leader.

“The apostle of Jesus Christ has always adhered to the law and demonstrated full respect to governmental institutions and the dignity of all persons,” said Dr. Daniel Gutierrez, a church member. 

26 felony charges were filed against Garcia

The complaint filed details crimes too graphic to share.

He appeared in court in Los Angeles Wednesday. 

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