The leader of a Mexico-based church has been charged with human trafficking and child rape in California.
Naasón Joaquín García and a follower of the church, 24-year-old Susana Medina Oaxaca, were arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
García, 50, is the leader, and a self-proclaimed apostle, of La Luz del Mundo (The Light of the World), a church based in Guadalajara, Jalisco. The church claims more than a million followers, with 15,000 churches in 58 countries, according to their website.
On Tuesday, 1,000 followers gathered at the church's headquarters to pray for García as he was held by authorities.
The charges against García involve three girls and one woman. García is facing 26 felony counts that he produced child pornography and raped a minor. The alleged crimes took place between 2015 and 2018 in Los Angeles County.
The fundamentalist Christian church was founded in 1926 by García's grandfather. Allegations of child sexual abuse have surrounded the church for years but Mexican authorities have never filed criminal charges.
García allegedly told his victims that if they refused to perform sexual acts with him, then they would be going against God.
David Correa, a spokesman from the church's headquarters, said in a phone call, "We categorically deny those false accusations. We know him personally and he is an honorable and honest man."
García is now being held on a whopping $50 million bail, based on the attorney general's fear that he would try to raise the money for bail with his followers' help and flee the country.
Hopefully this degenerate scumbag will be spending the rest of his life in a cell. The four victims identified in the 26 counts against him are highly unlikely to be his only victims.