SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Attorney General Xavier Becerra is calling for potential abuse victims to come forward.
He’s investigating top leaders at La Luz Del Mundo, a religious organization based out of Mexico. Nasson Joaquin Garcia, the self-proclaimed apostle and church leader, is accused of child rape, sex trafficking, and child pornography.
“There is a real fear because he has his church more than 1-million followers that he will raise the money and he will bail himself out,” said Becerra.
Garcia’s is the highest bail ever set in Los Angeles County history, $50 million dollars.
Garcia and three other religious leaders, one still at large, are all accused of luring young people from the megachurch into sex trafficking.
“Any families of the young girls, they are probably very frightened, very confused,” Becerra said.
The megachurch, with a home in South Sacramento, is close-knit. Parishioners view Garcia as Godly, a self-proclaimed apostle.
“People would call this a case of brainwashing as these families are influenced,” Becerra.
He says some of these families depended on the church, even donating their livelihood to the cause. Now Becerra is calling for other victims to come forward to help him prosecute this case.
“No law of God would permit to occur what Nasson Joaquin Garcia is alleged to have committed. He committed crimes and we’re going to prove that you don’t do that to children,” Becerra said.
Garcia, now behind bars in LA, claims he is an innocent man.
His lawyer says the claims are unfounded.
“He is a good man, he’s a holy man. He teaches respect for all, he has countless awards for humanitarian work around the world,” said his lawyer.
Meanwhile, victims advocates for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) say this situation is difficult, growing up in this community makes it that much harder for victims to come forward.
“When you come forward, you not only help yourself on the road to healing but you also prevent future abuse,” says Melanie Sakoda with SNAP.
Garcia will be back in court on Monday.
One leader, Azeala Rangela Melendez is still at large.