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California

Prosecution fines rescinded in La Luz del Mundo church leader case

Naason Joaquin Garcia
Naason Joaquin Garcia, the leader of La Luz del Mundo, a Mexico-based evangelical church with a worldwide membership, attends a bail review hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles judge has rescinded sanctions against two prosecutors whom she said had failed to give defense lawyers evidence in a case against a Mexican megachurch leader charged with child rape and human trafficking.

Reconsidering at the request of the California attorney general’s office, Superior Court Judge Teresa Sullivan on Friday overturned $10,000 in fines she levied a day earlier but indicated the evidence must be provided by Monday.

Sullivan had found that the prosecutors violated a court order to provide evidence to lawyers for Naason Joaquin Garcia, leader of La Luz del Mundo, and two co-defendants.

They have pleaded not guilty to allegations of sexually abusing three girls and a woman in Los Angeles County.

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A hearing to determine if the case should go to trial is scheduled for Monday.


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