Sexual Abuse in La Luz Del Mundo Church
The La Luz del Mundo (LLDM), or Light of the World, church was founded in 1926 with the headquarters located in Guadalajara, Mexico. There are over 2,000 locations in nearly 60 countries. The church claims to have between 1 to 5 million followers worldwide. La Luz del Mundo practices a form of restorationist theology centered on three leaders: Aarón—born Eusebio—Joaquín González, Samuel Joaquín Flores, and Naasón Joaquín García, who are regarded as modern-day “apostles” of Jesus Christ. According to multiple survivors and reports, LLDM leadership has built and maintained a system to groom children for sexual abuse and assault by García and, previously, by his father and predecessor Flores, (now deceased).
Furthermore, the widely known lavish lifestyles of LLDM leaders is reported to be funded by the unpaid labor and financial exploitation of its members. Survivors have reported working tens of thousands of hours with no compensation in addition to making significant financial contributions to the organization. It is not uncommon for families to sign over the title to their homes to LLDM leadership.
In 2019, García was arrested for more than a dozen sex crimes. While he was originally faced with 36 charges related to human trafficking, forced labor, sexual assault, financial exploitation, and harassment, his plea deal resulted in him only being charged with three counts total. In 2022, García was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison.
Alleged Crimes of La Luz del Mundo & Naasón Joaquín García
- Sexual assault of multiple minors
- Human trafficking
- Production of child pornography
- Physical violence
- Forced labor
- Financial exploitation
In 2020, Sochil Martin, a former LLDM member and sexual abuse survivor, spoke about the horrific abuse and exploitation by García. Martin spoke at a press conference with her attorneys from Jeff Anderson & Associates and Greenberg Gross and demanded accountability from both LLDM and Naasón Joaquín García.
“For the first thirty years of my life, I was taught to believe that my body, my mind, my soul belonged to La Luz del Mundo.” – Sochil Martin, Survivor & Advocate
In June of 2022, Sochil Martin spoke at another press conference, demanding that Naasón Joaquín García face a life sentence for his crimes.
“For nearly 22 years I was made to work for, travel for, lie for, and give my body to an organization that saw me as nothing more than a source of profit and sexual pleasure. Hundreds if not thousands of other children before me, and after me, suffered the same fate.” – Sochil Martin, Survivor & Advocate
If you are a victim of child sexual assault, coerced donations, or have been denied pay for your labor within La Luz Del Mundo in California, we want to help you. Contact us confidentially today.
Unveiled: HBO Documentary Brings La Luz del Mundo’s Secrets to the Surface
A new HBO documentary, Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo, dives deep into the horrific stories of former LLDM members, including Sochil Martin, who tell their experience of being abused by the “apostles” of the church.
Helping Survivors Find Justice Through Legal Action
We encourage current or former members of La Luz del Mundo who have been victims of childhood sexual assault or denied pay for their labor to come forward confidentially to seek legal counsel immediately. We want to help. Jeff Anderson & Associates is recognized as the nation’s premier law firm to represent victims of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault. We are smart, tough and relentless, but the virtue that ultimately sets us apart is our compassion. We are people who feel deeply and work tirelessly in response to an unjust world. We have a reputation for being the best at what we do, and that begins and ends with our ability to support, protect and guide survivors along their journey towards justice and healing. Contact us confidentially today.
California Child Victims Act
On January 1, 2020, the California Child Victims Act (AB 218) opened a three-year window for California child sexual assault survivors of any age to file claims against their perpetrators and the institutions responsible for the abuse, no matter when the abuse occurred. This means survivors abused in California only have until December 31, 2022, to take legal action.