What's Next In The Case Against The 'Apostle' Of La Luz Del Mundo
An appellate court this week dismissed the criminal case against the leader of the Mexico-based religious group known as La Luz Del Mundo, or the Light of the World Church. Why?
It came down to a procedural issue: The appeals court simply said that because a preliminary hearing was not held for Garcia within the right amount of time — and he was incarcerated while he waited —the case is dismissed.
This is a due process issue, concerning the defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial. The law requires that a preliminary hearing be held within 10 court days of the arraignment (what went wrong for prosecutors is a bit complicated).
But the case is likely far from over and Naason Joaquin Garcia currently remains behind bars, as he has been since he was charged last summer with child sexual abuse and human trafficking and held without bail.
Garcia has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.
We take a closer look at how we came to this point and why this case is likely not even close to being over.