Ross Investigates

Church Leader Naason Joaquin Garcia Claims Women ‘Framed’ Him for Lurid Teen Sex Videos

A church leader indicted by the California attorney general for alleged sex trafficking of teenage girls from his congregation explained the lurid teen sex videos discovered on his phone, computer and iPad by saying he was “framed.”

Naason Joaquin Garcia, the “apostle” of the Light of the World Church which claims five million members in the United States and dozens of other countries, is being held in a Los Angeles jail on $50 million bail following his arrest on sex trafficking charges. In a court filing asking that his bail be reduced, his lawyers say the church leader “is the victim of a concerted conspiracy to frame and extort him.”

State prosecutors and investigators say the videos they discovered on Garcia’s electronic devices include numerous nude photos and videos of female minors. In one video, investigators testified, two teenage girls are instructed to performing sexual acts on each other, including licking whipped cream off each other’s breasts.

Garcia’s lawyers claim the videos were produced by women who “had connections to a group of disgruntled former church members.” They told a judge that the church leader often gave his phone and computers to others who knew his passwords. “It is as likely that they uploaded, downloaded, sent or received those images, as that he did,” they say in the court papers.

Garcia is represented by Kenneth Rosenfeld and Allen Sawyer of Rosenfeld & Sawyer firm of Sacramento, California.

The lawyers also allege that one of the alleged victims, Jane Doe #4, was “sending text messages to Mr. Garcia, proclaiming her love for him and propositioning Mr. Garcia for sex.”

The judge in the case set a further hearing for Sept. 19.

As the church leader remains behind bars, a growing number of former church members are coming forward to allege that Garcia runs his church as a “cult,” with family members told to shun anyone who speaks out against the leader.

One former member, Raquel Guerra of San Antonio, Texas said her appearance on the Law&Crime Network program Brian Ross Investigates would likely lead her family members still in the church to disown her.

“It’s worse than a sin, it’s going against the man of God,” she said. Asked why she was going public with her concerns, she said, “Because I’m tired of seeing my family just being deceived. They refuse to even consider that this could be a cult.”

Follow @Brianrossinvestigates and @Rhondanews on Twitter. You can send tips or story ideas to BrianRossTips@lawandcrime.com

Ariel Tu contributed to this report.

[Image via Al Seib/AFP/Getty Images]

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