La Luz Del Mundo leader held on all counts of rape, child pornography and sex trafficking

LA Times

Matthew Ormseth

August 21, 2020路6 min read

Naason Joaquin Garcia at his bail hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Naas贸n Joaquin Garcia, leader of the Guadalajara-based La Luz del Mundo church, at his bail hearing in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 5. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

One after another, the agents from the California Department of Justice took the witness stand and related what the teenage girls and young women had told them: Naas贸n Joaquin Garcia, the leader of La Luz Del Mundo, an international church headquartered in Mexico, had raped them.

After five days of testimony, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen on Tuesday found that prosecutors from the California Attorney General’s office had gathered enough evidence to bind over for trial Garcia and two co-defendants, Alondra Ocampo and Susana Oaxaca, on all 36 counts of rape, child pornography, sex trafficking and extortion lodged against them.

All three have pleaded not guilty, arguing through their lawyers that the prosecution’s case rests on the untested, uncorroborated word of accusers whom the authorities have refused to identify.

Garcia, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, succeeded his father in 2014 as the leader of La Luz Del Mundo. The church’s followers, said to number in the millions, consider Garcia an “apostle” of Jesus Christ.

La Luz Del Mundo, Spanish for “The Light of the World,” was founded nearly a century ago by Garcia’s grandfather, Aar贸n Joaqu铆n. In court papers, prosecutors said they believe sexual abuse has been perpetrated within La Luz Del Mundo since the 1970s.

When he took control of the church six years ago, Garcia “found himself at the head of an organized sex ring originated by his father (or perhaps grandfather),'” Troy Holmes, a special agent for the California Department of Justice, wrote in a declaration.

In a statement, Jack Freeman, a minister and spokesman for the church, said the attorney general’s office has presented only “suspicions” based on “anonymous witnesses alleging outlandish claims.”

“Blatant hearsay does not amount to truth,” he said, predicting that as the case moves through the courts, “the innocence and honorability of the Apostle of Jesus Christ Naas贸n Joaquin Garcia will be proven.” Story continues鈥


Overlapping similarities

Something that becomes easier for some victims/survivors/oppressed/bad-eggs/outcasts to see is the hidden-truth, the dry wit, the 鈥榓dult humour鈥, 鈥渢hings only grownups understand鈥 that they innately become both aware of & exposed to during their youth. I wanted to post this immediately after recognising patterns in 鈥She Said鈥. Many of the power+control methods exposed by this great work also reflect/mirror dynamics they continue throughout Institutions-Corporations-Society鈥檚-Families & personalities.

While Harvey Weinstein鈥檚 鈥榠mprisonment鈥 has triggered off other moments, reminders give hope to other truth鈥檚 being exposed.

Promising Young Woman, 2021.

Many other 鈥榩arallels鈥 appeared to me, which I gravitate to. It鈥檚 not about whether it鈥檚 popular to others, it鈥檚 whether it鈥檚 meaningful to me, another was Spotlight which brought up reminders I was exposed to on a church youth camp! How blessed were we?!

Spotlight, 2015.

Cardinal George Pell Civil Case Catholic Archdiocese

By Danny Morgan

Posted Thu 4 Aug 2022 at 4:30pmThursday 4 Aug 2022 at 4:30pm, updated Yesterday at 5:58am

A man wearing a black robe holds his fingers to his temple as he speaks.
The father of a former choirboy who died of a drug overdose in 2014 has launched a case against Cardinal George Pell.(AP: Gregorio Borgia)

The Catholic Church is using a controversial legal tactic in a bid to be excused from a civil damages claim lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court involving Cardinal George Pell.

Key points:

  • The man lodging the claim says he suffered nervous shock after learning of allegations his son was abused by Cardinal Pell
  • Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence and was acquitted by the High Court of criminal charges in 2020
  • The Archdiocese has asked to be excused from the civil case, claiming the father was not the primary victim of any alleged abuse

A man is suing the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Cardinal Pell for damages, claiming he suffered nervous shock after learning of allegations Cardinal Pell sexually assaulted his son when he was a choirboy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne in 1996.

In 2018, Cardinal Pell was found guilty of the assault, but the High Court unanimously quashed the conviction in 2020.

The Cardinal has always maintained his innocence.

Church calls upon ‘Ellis defence’

In a preliminary hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday, the Archdiocese indicated it wanted to rely on what is known as the ‘Ellis defence’ to be excused from the case.

The Ellis defence emerged out of a 2007 NSW Court of Appeal judgement that prevented an abuse survivor suing the Church because it was not a legal entity.

Survivors have long complained about the Church using the Ellis defence, and in 2018 the Victorian Parliament passed legislation that required unincorporated associations such as the Church to nominate an entity that is capable of being sued.

However, lawyers for the Archdiocese argued that legislation did not apply in this case because the father of the choirboy was not the primary victim of the alleged abuse.

The facade of St Patrick's Cathedral reaches into a cloudy sky.
The civil damages claim relates to allegations of abuse at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

The father’s barrister, Julian Burnside QC, disagreed, arguing the 2018 legislation applied to both primary victims and their families.

“What our learned friends’ submission amounts to is this: If the victim of child abuse dies, then the family has no remedy, they have no-one they can sue,” Mr Burnside said.

“Now that’s plainly wrong in our submission.”

Justice Michael McDonald has reserved his decision on whether to excuse the Archdiocese.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

Archdiocese pledges to pay any potential damages

If the Archdiocese is excused, Cardinal Pell would remain a defendant.

In a letter to the court, solicitors for the Archdiocese indicated that, even if the Church avoided liability, it would still pay any damages should the judge find against Cardinal Pell.

“If the plaintiff is awarded damages against the second defendant [George Pell], the Archdiocese will ensure that the award is paid by indemnifying the second defendant in respect of the award,” the letter said.

The father of the choirboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, launched his case last month.

His son died of a drug overdose in 2014 and the father only learned of the allegations against Cardinal Pell the following year.

The father is claiming general damages, special damages and seeking compensation for past loss of earning capacity as well as past and future medical expenses.

His solicitor, Lisa Flynn, said the High Court’s decision to quash Cardinal Pell’s conviction would not affect the civil proceedings.

“The High Court made some decisions in relation to the criminal prosecution against [George] Pell. Our case is a civil case against George Pell and the Catholic Archdiocese,” she said.

RETRIEVED

Morgan, Danny. (2022). Cardinal George Pell Civil Case Catholic Archdiocese. Retrieved https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-04/cardinal-george-pell-civil-case-catholic-archdiocese/101301514. ABC News, Australia.

Offending Institution: St Vincent鈥檚 Orphanage, Clontarf聽


Sexual abuse was rampant at St Joseph鈥檚 Orphanage in Clontarf, WA.聽The Christian Brothers would leer at the boys while they showered, and in the evenings, the Brothers would choose boys to take to their bedrooms. One of the survivors said this was 鈥減retty much a nightly occurrence, or at least it occurred more often than not鈥濃

Discover the horrific history of St Joseph’s Orphanage.
/ / /
RETRIEVED
Kelso Lawyers. (2022). St Vincents Orphanage Clontarf, from https://kelsolawyers.com/au/institutions/st-vincents-orphanage-clontarf/?goal=0_8de5cf57f7-b1db0993e0-26105593
READ MORE

POSTS/Messages

To all of those who鈥檝e sent in WP Messages to this RoyalCommBBC blog, I am sorry I haven鈥檛 responded to your messages. Although I鈥檓 now able to partly post new pieces, I鈥檓 not able to access your messages. If possible, please COPY + PASTE them into either an eMail OR TXT:

treacl@icloud.com

0410 277 791

BadApples

Now realising that I too have been grouped as part of the 鈥榖ad apples鈥, perhaps if a collective group with other BadApples could be joined-or-started! Through continuing amounts of surviving-victims coming forward, the 鈥榦ccasional鈥 is growing to wider audiences there鈥檒l be less 鈥榩ots calling kettles black鈥 + more merging of a multi-levelled society.

Pot calling kettle black, Google images.

Now realising that I too have been grouped as one of the 鈥榖ad apples鈥, perhaps if a collective group with other BadApples could be joined-or-started! Through continuing amounts of surviving-victims coming forward, the 鈥榦ccasional鈥 is growing to wider audiences there鈥檒l be less 鈥榩ots calling kettles black鈥 + more merging of a multi-levelled sharing. Probably how our nation appears in front of the camera!

Alternative sides of brain, Google images.

Brisbane Boys鈥 Colleges https://www.bbc.qld.edu.au/life-at-bbc/boarding/

Catholic Schools https://www.cecv.catholic.edu.au/Our-Schools/Child-Safety

Anglican Church Grammar Schools https://www.ascqld.org/programs/child-safety/

Grammar Schools https://www.brisbanegrammar.com/information/policies-procedureshttps://www.ipswichgrammar.com/education/student-wellbeing

Boarding Schools https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/children

Karma, Google Images.

Cognitive dissonance鈥, 鈥monopolised鈥, 鈥excluded鈥, 鈥negative attitude鈥 & 鈥victim-blaming鈥 were included in a recent therapy appt. Following which, another surviving-victim began having an early-stage discussion of what was involved in both finding out more + preparing for meets with knowmore! Karma, Murphy鈥檚 luck, or pieces of reality fitting together?

Murphy鈥檚 luck, Google images.

Child abuse royal commission: Convicted paedophile who denied allegations labelled ‘a disgrace’聽

By Donna FieldPosted Tue 10 Nov 2015 at 2:27pmTuesday 10 Nov 2015 at 2:27pm, updated Tue 10 Nov 2015 at 5:11pmTuesday 10 Nov 2015 at 5:11pm

Gregory Robert Knight
Gregory Knight gave evidence to the child sex abuse royal commission via video link.(AAP Image: Dan Peled)

A convicted paedophile teacher has accused students of making up stories about him after he was convicted of a child sex offence.

Key points:

  • – Convicted paedophile teacher Gregory Knight claims students made up stories
  • – In 1994, Knight was convicted of child sex offences in NT
  • – He taught music at Brisbane’s St Paul’s in the 1980s, 1990s
  • – He was convicted of sexually abusing a St Paul’s student

The conduct of former music teacher Gregory Robert Knight, as well as that of former counsellor Kevin John Lynch, is under scrutiny at the child sexual abuse royal commission underway at the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Both men worked at Brisbane’s St Paul’s School during the 1980s and 1990s.

Knight later resigned from St Paul’s and moved to the Northern Territory to work at Darwin’s Dripstone High School, where serious allegations of child abuse were made against him in 1993.

The school and the NT Department of Education refused Knight’s offer to resign, with the school sacking him on the spot.

In 1994, Knight was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail with a three-year non-parole period for child sex offences in the Northern Territory.

In 2005, he was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing a former St Paul’s student, identified at the inquiry as BSG.

He appeared this afternoon at the commission via video link.

“Now in Darwin as I have stated I went off the rails, I behaved badly and I’m not dodging around that one bit,” Knight said.

“It was after that and at the time when compensation was being handed out to students who had been at St Paul’s well after I’d left there that we had BSG come along and start asking ‘Oh, can I put in a bit of a story’ and away it went.”

BSG’s lawyer, Roger Singh, challenged Knight’s statement.

You are a disgrace. It cannot be denied that you are a paedophile.

“You were charged, convicted and sentenced for horrific sexual violation against BSG,” he said.

“There was no successful appeal, and for you to proclaim your innocence is absurd and delusional.

“You are a disgrace. It cannot be denied that you are a paedophile.”

Counsel assisting the inquiry David Lloyd also reminded Knight of his paedophile conviction and suggested: “It’s just delusional isn’t it, your position?”

Knight replied: “No, it isn’t.”

Knight sacked by BBC before being being employed by St Paul’s

Former Brisbane Boys College (BBC) principal Graeme Thomson told the inquiry he sacked Knight after hearing reports of questionable conduct from students in 1980. 

Mr Thomson employed Knight unaware of crimes he had committed in South Australia, but said when boys from BBC came to him about strange behaviour around boarders in the showers, he took action.

I took cognisance and gave pre-eminence to two well-known truths, where’s there’s smoke there’s fire and prevention is better than cure.

He said he subsequently told St Paul’s principal Gilbert Case about the behaviour, yet Knight was still employed by the school.

“He [Knight] made no effort to offer an explanation and did not refute the details,” Mr Thomson said.

“I was confounded by his inability or his unwillingness to make a comment [about the allegations].

“When Knight did not respond with any denial, I took cognisance and gave pre-eminence to two well-known truths, where there’s smoke there’s fire and prevention is better than cure.”

Mr Thomson said he then registered his concern with BBC’s governing body and they agreed Knight had to go.

“I told Knight that his position was summarily terminated and I instructed him to make sure he left the school in the next 24 hours,” Mr Thomson said.

Former SA education minister ‘could have done more’

Earlier today, former South Australia education minister Dr Donald Hopgood said he could have done more to prevent Knight from ever teaching children again.

Knight had worked as a teacher in South Australia, where a 1978 inquiry held by the Education Department found he had engaged in disgraceful conduct towards students.

Dr Hopgood and Knight were in a band together at the time of the abuse.

That inquiry recommended Knight be dismissed from teaching, but Dr Hopgood instead accepted Knight’s resignation and gave him a positive reference “in the way in which he was able to lead a band”.

Knight admitted he had likely used the reference to gain a teaching job in Brisbane. 

“It was a nice reference and it wasn’t drawing him into any conflict,” he said.

Yesterday, the commission heard from BSG, who said he was threatened with the loss of his scholarship at St Paul’s after he raised allegations about Knight in the 1980s.

More on this story:

Dysfunctional family + National Redress

How much of 鈥渦nfair smear-campaigns that will be initiated at breakneck speed to everyone the parents know,
the lack of compassion,
understanding and support from others,
and the loneliness, confusion and grief to process after we sever ties.鈥 鈥 #dysfunctional family? (1 of 2)

鈥nderstanding and support from others,
and the loneliness, confusion and grief to process after we sever ties.鈥 鈥 are experienced by those who鈥檝e withdrawn from a #dysfunctional family? #nationalredress is approaching settlement for 1 CSA surviving-victim: 鈥楢pologies鈥 awaited. (2 of 2)

RETRIEVED https://sdbcrc.wordpress.com/2021/09/19/dysfunctional-family-national-redress/

NRS Submission (1st stage)

Although we鈥檙e each taught that toddlers-teenagers are to be treated with 鈥減urety + innocence鈥, as 鈥榗hildren of god鈥, Institutions of #BaptistChurch, #BrisbaneBoysCollege + #BoysBrigade have had their past behaviours brought into question.
-(twitter)-
#DSS-#NRS will now research their inclusion, in preparation for assessment of these #ChildSexualAbuse impacts. Bless each of you.
Boys Brigade, Brisbane Boy鈥檚 College

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It鈥檚 great to let you all know that our RCbbc Team, has reached 3 1/2 thousand. With our Podcasts also being pieced together, adding in another media.

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