Prosecutor's Office claims that the leader of La Luz del Mundo tried to drug girls to sexually assault them
In a court motion, the California Attorney General's office said they have identified "more victims of sexual assault" from the leader of La Luz del Mundo and that investigators found "thousands of images of child pornography" on the devices they seized.
ISAIAS ALVARADO JAN 31 2020 - 06:50 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, California.-The California Attorney General's Office assured in a motion filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court that it discovered new evidence against the leader of the evangelical church La Luz del Mundo,Naasón Joaquín García,who is still detained in this city since June 3, 2019 for multiple charges of human trafficking, rape, production of child pornography, and extortion.
The state attorney general's office alleges in the document that investigators have identified "more victims of sexual assault" and that they also found "thousands of images of child and adult pornography" on devices that were confiscated from the religious leader and his two alleged accomplices.
Among the evidence is a text message in which the so-called 'Apostle of Jesus Christ' discusses "using 'Ruffys' to drug the victims so that they do not remember what happened to them," prosecutors warn in a motion that Univision Noticias obtained. through the clerk of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
The indictment points to at least four women in the congregation, including three minors, who were allegedly sexually abused. It is alleged that they were forced to undress and perform sexual acts in front of a camera to send those videos and photos to the leader of the evangelical organization.
"The weight and credibility of the evidence has only increased during the development of the case. The amount and content that the discovery has shown to date, as well as other information obtained during the course of the investigation, has resulted in a substantial confirmation against the accused and others to provide girls to García for their lascivious sexual gratification, "he points out. the six-page brief, submitted to the Los Angeles court on December 16.
The agency did not report who the "other" implicated it mentions are. To date, only García and his three alleged accomplices (Susana Medina Oaxaca, Alondra Ocampo and the fugitive Azalea Rangel) have been implicated in this judicial process that cites 29 crimes. But the state attorney general's office stresses that it is preparing more criminal charges against the four defendants.
"Since the last bail hearing (July 16, 2019), it has become evident that the conduct of the accused is more general and far-reaching than originally contemplated," the Prosecutor's Office warns. "The excessive amount of evidence (...) shows that the accused García, in fact, used his position in the church to satisfy with girls his apparent insatiable sexual appetite," he adds.
Univision Noticias requested comments from attorneys Alan Jackson and John Patrick Carey, legal defenders of Joaquín García and Medina Oaxaca, respectively, but did not respond until the publication of this note. This medium also sent messages to the spokesperson for the church in Mexico, Eliezer Gutiérrez, to speak on the matter, but at the moment it has not.
Silem García, another spokesperson for the congregation, claimed in an interview with Radio Formula that the motion of the Prosecutor's Office was obtained "illegally" by Univision Noticias and that Joaquín García's lawyers told him that they had not yet seen said document. It is an imprecision: this media received a certified copy from the Los Angeles Superior Court Clerk.
Furthermore, it is a public document that anyone can request in court. The spokesman, however, has not commented on the new arguments of the state attorney.
Joaquín García, Medina Oaxaca and Ocampo pleaded not guilty. This congregation founded in Mexico and which claims to have 5 million faithful continues to defend its leader. "Honorable" is the title of the campaign they launched trying to clean up their image. Church representatives say that new faithful have arrived in recent months and are confident that their pastor will soon be released.
Naasón Joaquín's text messages
The new motion by the prosecutors represents another hard blow for the defense of Joaquín García. The first setback was received on July 15, 2019, when a police officer testified that the 'Apostle of Jesus Christ' was recorded in a sexual trio with a teenager of about 15 or 16 years old. He also assured that he found images on his confiscated iPhone where "multiple potential victims" appear, most of them girls. In a video, the agent described, he saw "four girls participating in an act of oral sex with each other."
Providing new evidence, the Prosecutor's Office indicated that when checking the phone of the accused Susana Medina Oaxaca, who is free after paying a bond of $ 150,000, she found multiple text messages that would incriminate her and the religious leader. Her talks date from the beginning of 2008.
"He simply sent the accused the name of the girl he wanted by text message to the accused Oaxaca," prosecutors allege, highlighting that this happened until the arrest of both on June 3, 2019.
“The text messages asking that certain girls be sent to their office is consistent with the statements made by the victims in this case. Furthermore, the fact that the girls were handed over for lewd purposes shows that there are no less restrictive means to protect the young women from him, ”the agency warns.
According to the State Attorney's Office, the conversations between Joaquín García and Medina Oaxaca also refer to the sexual abuse of children and recognize that they hid from the rest of the faithful what was happening in the temples of Los Angeles, the epicenter of this sexual scandal.
In a talk, on the morning of May 8, 2019, Medina Ocampo warned him that a faithful woman approached him to talk to him about allegations on a website of former church members in which “very bad” accusations were made against Naasón Joaquín. “The (messages) say they are offering girls. She said this to me, so maybe I should talk to the girls in Los Angeles so they don't divulge anything that has happened to them. She says she is worried. "
The pastor replied: “You just tell her that you don't know anything. And that is a lie. They are trying to get information through you. Tell them it is not true and that you have not seen the website because of your loyalty in the election (their "divine appointment").
"That is what I will tell her, My Lord," she replied immediately. Later he explained that the topic was discussed aloud, so the woman's son intervened, who believed that behind the accusations was a woman who is "unhappy" and who "wants to destroy the one who has made millions happy ( he)".
"It's okay. Just tell them you don't know anything. You have not seen the website. May God bless you for letting me know. And always keep me informed, ”asked Joaquín García.
"They are young, about 18 years old (maybe less?)"
In one of the electronic devices seized at the 'Apostle of Jesus Christ' mansion in East Los Angeles, authorities found "several pornographic images, four with potential evidentiary value," says the California Attorney General's Office. In addition, prosecutors assure that in the same device they discovered the following statement, apparently related to the selection of minors to sexually satisfy Joaquín García. There was no mention of who would have written this message.
“They are young, about 18 years old (maybe less?). We are excited to see how anxious they look when they kiss. I think it's her first experience ... And young girls look good. Then you will tell me: 'Duende' record it with your cell phone. I take it out and start recording them. Mmmmm… You are going to like it, you are going to masturbate many times looking at them ”, says the text revealed to the court.
Prosecutors allege that they have independently identified more victims engaging in unlawful sexual conduct on devices confiscated from defendants. The investigation to find out their names and ages is ongoing.
Meanwhile, detectives have not yet been able to analyze the contents of a hard drive because they have not been able to obtain or decode the password. On December 17, a list of devices containing evidence was presented to the court: 14 laptops, USB sticks, digital cards, as well as a camera.
The defense has not responded to these allegations through motions, limiting itself to solving some of its clients' needs. On February 17, Ryan Rodríguez, Ocampo's lawyer, asked the court to be evaluated by a doctor in jail because she has experienced pelvic pain, which she attributed to not having followed the diet they recommended after finding precancerous cells.
While the defender of Medina Oaxaca, who was ordered to use a satellite locator for her parole, asked for permission to go to a clinic and dental office in San Diego.
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for February 13.
Article courtesy of Univision and Isaias Alvarado - Originally in Spanish, translation courtesy of Google Translate