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Home / Neighborhood / Los Angeles / 5 accusers sue church, former leader, others over alleged abuses

5 accusers sue church, former leader, others over alleged abuses

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The La Luz Del Mundo church, its convicted former leader and several additional church members were sued Thursday by five women who allege the ex-church head sexually abused them with the help of the others.

The women are identified only as Jane Doe 1-5 in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, which alleges sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and gender violence.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against the church; its 53-year-old former leader, Naason Joaquin Garcia; Alondra Ocampo, Susana Medina Oaxaca and Azalea Rangel, who allegedly groomed the plaintiffs to be abused by Garcia; Garcia’s wife, Alma Zamora de Joaquin, who allegedly knew of her husband’s crimes and the alleged assistance of the three women; Garcia’s three children and an attorney, Joram Nunez.

A church representative could not be immediately reached.

The plaintiffs range in age from 20 to 28. According to the suit, the church “systematically indoctrinated all of its members, including (Does) 1-5, to believe that (Garcia) was an anointed ‘apostle’ and the literal presence of God on earth,” the suit states. Garcia committed the alleged abuses during the years 2015-19, according to the suit.

From the time that they were young children, the plaintiffs were “routinely coerced to believe that (Garcia’s) wishes and desires were direct orders from God, that he was without sin and incapable of committing any wrongs and that disobeying (Garcia) in anything that he requested of them would unequivocally lead to catastrophic consequences including … eternal damnation, unspeakable tragedy, infertility and countless other harms to the plaintiffs and their families,” the suit alleges.

Garcia instructed Ocampo, Oaxaca and Rangel to “further indoctrinate and brainwash” the plaintiffs by any means necessary, including forcing them to provide the accusers with daily reminders of Garcia’s unfettered power, the catastrophic consequences of denying his wishes and the routine use and manipulation of bible verse and scripture to underscore his power and authority, according to the complaint.

Ocampo once took one plaintiff to a motel where the girl was photographed nude with whipped cream and coerced into engaging in “sexual activities” with other girls, according to the suit.

On several occasions, Garcia sexually abused the plaintiffs, including kissing, fondling and sexually touching them, according to the suit, which further states the girls were required to purchase and wear lingerie while in his presence and that the plaintiffs were as young as 14 years old when the alleged abuses of them began.

Garcia instructed one plaintiff to help him get to sleep nightly by reading bible verses to him and performing a sex act with him, the suit alleges.

Garcia initially maintained he was innocent of all allegations, but in June he pleaded guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court to two counts of forcible oral copulation on a minor and one count of committing a lewd act on a child. He was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison.

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