CAOC President and CAALA Immediate Past-President Mike Arias was quoted in the Los Angeles Times in an article analyzing the sex abuse allegations against the leader of a network of churches known as La Luz del Mundo. In June 2019, church leader Naasón Joaquín García was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and charged with sex crimes by the California Department of Justice.
The church, similar to other clergy sex abuse cases, has a rigid structure centered around the “apostle” Mr. Garcia. The California Department of Justice alleges that from 2015 to 2018 Garcia and three co-defendants committed twenty-six felonies including human trafficking, production of child pornography, and forcible rape of a minor. Garcia’s bail was set at $50 million which California Attorney General Xavier Becerra claims is the highest ever imposed on anyone in Los Angeles county.
Mr. Arias is quoted in the article:
“When all the priest abuse cases were coming out, you had people question not necessarily their faith in the church but those who were leading the church, and how this could happen,” he said. “I don’t know whether these people will question whether this is really an apostle of God.”
To read the full piece, go to the LA Times piece here.