La Luz del Mundo: Woman sentenced in church sex crime case

A woman who was charged along with the leader of a Mexico-based evangelical megachurch with sex crimes involving underage girls was sentenced Wednesday to four years in state prison.

In imposing Alondra Ocampo's sentence, Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen said in his 38 years on the bench that he has never ceased to be amazed at the "depravity that is committed in the name of God."

Ocampo -- who loudly sobbed as she listened to portions of the victim impact statements of two of the girls' mothers -- pleaded guilty in 2020 to three counts of contact with a minor for the purposes of committing a sexual offense, along with one count of forcible sexual penetration.

Supervising Deputy Attorney General Patricia Fusco told the judge that Ocampo is "guilty of egregious criminal conduct," but cited the 39-year- old defendant's cooperation and early acknowledgement of guilt and said that Ocampo is also believed to be a victim of Naasón Joaquín Garcia -- the leader of La Luz del Mundo (Light of the World).

Ocampo has remained behind bars since her June 2019 arrest and has already served the bulk of the prison term.


Her sentencing comes just over four months after Garcia was ordered to serve 16 years and eight months in prison after his guilty plea to two counts of forcible oral copulation involving minors and one count of a lewd act upon a child who was 15 years old. Each of the counts involved a separate minor, according to the California Attorney General's Office, which handled the prosecution.

In addition to his prison time, Garcia is expected to be ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The mother of one of the victims told Ocampo that she and Garcia had ruined the lives of her daughter and family.

"You and Naason deceived us and lied to us," she said in an emotional statement. "I want to tell you you're here because you're just as guilty as Naason was."

But she said she was thankful that Ocampo had spoken up and pleaded guilty.

In a statement read in court on her behalf, the mother of one of the victims wrote that Garcia is "not an apostle of God," and told Ocampo that she had done "a lot of damage to my daughter."

"All that suffering that I was (a) witness of as a mother will never leave my heart," she said in the statement.

Garcia and Ocampo were charged in June 2019 along with a third defendant, Susana Oaxaca, 27, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to assault likely to cause great bodily injury and was sentenced to one year of probation, along with time she had already served in jail and on house arrest and six months of psychiatric counseling, according to the Attorney General's Office.

A state appeals court panel ordered the initial case to be dismissed in April 2020 after finding that Garcia did not waive his right to a timely hearing to determine if there was sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial and that the hearing was not held within that time.

The Attorney General's Office subsequently re-filed the case, which alleged that the crimes occurred in Southern California between June 2015 and June 2019.

State prosecutors alleged in the complaint that Ocampo told a group of minor girls that they were going against God if they refused any desires or wishes of Garcia, whom the church called "the Apostle of Jesus Christ."

The Guadalajara-based Pentecostal sect has branches in 50 nations and claims more than a million members worldwide.

In its statement released after Garcia's sentencing, the church said, "We publicly manifest our support for the Apostle of Jesus Christ; our confidence remains intact in the full knowledge of his integrity, his conduct and his work ... The Apostle will continue ministering to the church."