Detained Luz del Mundo leader's lawyers blast prosecutors

Lawyers representing Naasón Joaquín García, the spiritual leader of the Luz del Mundo Church who faces charges of human trafficking, child rape and child porn in California, hit back Friday, saying prosecutors have tainted the case by their remarks.

joaquinAllen Sawyer, of the firm Rosenfeld & Sawyer, said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has compromised the presumption of innocence after he described the Guadalajara-based church’s leader as “demented” and demanded bail of US50 million, the highest ever amount in the history of Los Angeles Country.  He refuted Becerra’s claim that Luz del Mundo followers could raise the funds through donations, because this is forbidden under church regulations.  Calling the amount of bail “scandalous,”Sawyer said the charges are “100-percent false” and that Joaquín is a victim of  “technological lynching,” noting that the original complaints were made online through a Facebook account.

Governor's reaction

Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro said he was “completely taken aback” after learning of the accusations against Joaquín.

“This church was founded in Guadalajara and has a great number of adherents. It has my respect and solidarity,” the governor said.

Alfaro said he had several dealings with Joaquín during his time as mayor of Guadalajara but “never imagined to hear news such as this.”

Despite reports that some members of Luz del Mundo have been the target of verbal abuse, Alfaro said there are no plans to provide extra security in the Hermosa Provincia neighborhood of Guadalajara, where the church’s temple is located and where many of its adherents reside.