Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Judge Held Prosecutors in Contempt for Not Turning Evidence Over in Case Against La Luz del Mundo

Sept 19, 2019 LA Times Article:

"A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge held state prosecutors in contempt Thursday for not turning evidence over in the sexual abuse case against the leader of La Luz Del Mundo and two of his followers.

Judge Teresa Sullivan fined Deputy Atty. Gens. Amanda Plisner and Diana Callaghan $5,000 each for violating a court order to hand over materials to attorneys representing Alondra Ocampo, Susana Oaxaca and Naason Joaquin Garcia, leader of La Luz del Mundo, an international church based in Mexico with more than 5 million members. His followers call him the apostle of Jesus Christ.

The judge told prosecutors they have until Friday morning to turn over the evidence.

Garcia and the two co-defendants were arrested in June and charged with 26 felony counts that include child rape, production of child pornography and human trafficking. All three have pleaded not guilty. Garcia, who was hit with a historic $50-million bail early in the case remains in custody, as does Ocampo. A fourth defendant remains at large.



During the hearing, Sullivan told prosecutors they have been given more than “ample opportunity to comply” with the order to turn over evidence to the defense.

Prosecutors have said they have had a hard time combing through the evidence, in part because they haven’t been able to determine what can be handed over to the defense team and what can’t.

The judge said the court has taken much of that into account but that despite the amount of time the prosecution has been given, it was in violation of the court’s order.

“We are here at preliminary hearing, Mr. Garcia and Ms. Ocampo remained in custody and their attorneys have not been provided the information,” Sullivan said. “This is a violation of the court’s order and at this time I’m finding the government in contempt.”

Attorneys for the defendants declined to comment on Thursday’s hearing.

Prosecutors alleged that Garcia and the co-defendants sexually abused three girls and a woman in Los Angeles County between 2015 and 2018. Prosecutors said the victims were coerced into performing sexual acts and were told if they went against any of Garcia’s desires or wishes as “the Apostle” they were going against God.

Prosecutors have accused Garcia of using his position in power to take advantage and exploit young women. They alleged that he received numerous child pornography images and videos. They have said they expect the case to possibly include more victims.

Meanwhile Ocampo, a former college student, has been accused of being the “groomer and recruiter” of all the young women who were allegedly sexually assaulted by Garcia. In court, Plisner has said that Oaxaca was Garcia’s assistant.

Attorneys for Garcia have said thousands of female church members are ready to testify for him. They’ve called his bail amount unconstitutional and argued against Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s assertion that Garcia could raise money among his followers to post bail and flee even though the church does not permit its funds or assets to be spent to pay for criminal defense or bail.

Since his arrest the church has maintained its support of Garcia and the co-defendants.

At Thursday’s hearing, all three defendants sat quietly as Sullivan heard attorneys from both sides. When the hearing was over, deputies escorted Garcia and Ocampo back to their holding cells. Oaxaca, wearing a long black skirt and long sleeve shirt, walked back to her family. Elsewhere in the court, supporters nodded and smiled in agreement with Sullivan’s order."

Sept 19, 2019 LA Times Article

Friday, September 20, 2019

Scientology Policy Enabled Years of Child Sexual Abuse, Lawsuit says

"According to the complaint filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on Wednesday, Scientology operatives cut the brake lines on the woman’s car, vandalized her property, followed and surveilled her, and harassed her with hundreds of spam calls.

The woman is referred to in the complaint only as Jane Doe for fear of more retaliation by the church.
The lawsuit names Miscavige, Scientology’s Flag Service Organization, its Religious Technology Center, Church of Scientology International and Clearwater Academy as defendants against allegations from sexual battery to racketeering and negligence.

With no criminal charges brought upon Scientology despite years of allegations of criminal activity, a team of a dozen victims’ rights attorneys are using civil court to expose the church’s alleged institutional abuses. The team, which filed its first complaint in June, includes a constitutional scholar and a lawyer who successfully prosecuted Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges."

It's shocking that so many former top executives such as Mike Rinder, Debbie Cook and Marty Rathbun have left the church and told stories of all sorts of alleged abuses that they "witnessed" and endured - telling their stories in blogs, documentaries, in court, in books and even 3 seasons of a TV series and yet there still hasn't been anything effective done to shut this machine down !

Maybe Miss Jane Doe can get the job done that no former "executive" has been able to - time will tell! We wish her all the best in her fight for justice!  

Read Full Article Here 

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Announcement: Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative

Did you know Experts believe Labor Trafficking is far more widespread than sex trafficking?

Facts & Statistics


Based on the latest report from Polaris Project , Human Trafficking (Sex & Labor) is up 25%.
Globally, as well as in the U.S. Experts believe Labor Trafficking is far more widespread than sex trafficking.

Here are just a couple of recent examples in the news of Labor Trafficking in Faith Based Communities - which by the way, we receive reports about almost daily!


We receive calls and emails daily and in a lot of those cases the bottom line is many faith based 501-C3 non-profits are exploiting and trafficking vulnerable youth and adults all in the name of "god" or "salvation".
It's an Epidemic and it's Appalling!

Not only do victims suffer mentally, emotionally and physically but in many cases they are ruined financially and can not afford proper therapy in the aftermath of abuse and exploitation, which can then lead to a host of potential future problems such as depression, drug/alcohol addiction and even suicide.
We're dedicated to helping survivors however we can.

We are proud to announce our collaboration with California Community Foundation to assist Survivors of the NXIVM Cult and Trafficking Ring in receiving the much needed therapy and resources to help them recover from their experiences.

Quality therapy and resources can make all the difference for a survivor climbing their way back up! We are very happy to be directly assisting these Survivors in the Healing and Rebuilding process!

These cult and trafficking rings are at Epidemic proportions and that means the number of victims are at an all time high as well!

When there is an epidemic - what is the best course of action? That's right PREVENTION!

What is F.A.C.T. doing about this epidemic?

We are excited and proud to announce we've formed a collaboration with Trafficking expert Dottie Laster. She is 1 of only 80 people trained by the Dept of Justice in Anti-Trafficking.

We will be holding Preventative Education and Training Events in locations across the U.S. and in places like College and University Campuses - which is where many cults and traffickers lure and recruit their next victims.
We Must Reach & Educate the Most Vulnerable, Targeted Individuals to Help Put a Stop to this Epidemic!

Here's where we need help.
Become an Organizer:

To schedule an event in your area call 1-877-360-FACT or email us at Support@FamiliesAgainstCultTeachings.org

Become a Sponsor:

Help us get these Life Saving Education and Training Events delivered in locations across the U.S. to Universities, Parents, Students, Educators, Local Officials & Professionals and Open to the Public!

Please Donate Today

Thank you,
The FACT Team

Friday, September 13, 2019

CA - Church Leaders Charged in Forced Labor of Homeless U.S. Attorney says

"A dozen leaders of a California-based ministry have been indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of forced labor of mostly homeless people, a US attorney said.

Imperial Valley Ministries leaders recruited people by promising food and shelter, and instead forced them to beg for money for nine hours a day, six days a week and to give up their welfare benefits "for the financial benefit of the church leaders," prosecutors said in a news release Tuesday that announced the indictment had been unsealed.
 
 
 
The ministry leaders will face charges of conspiracy, forced labor, document servitude and benefits fraud, US Attorney Robert Brewer said. 
 
The ministry operates nondenominational churches and group homes in the United States and Mexico."
 
Full article Here

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Human Trafficking Cases Jump 25% in 2018

According to the Polaris Project, Human Trafficking is up 25% in 2018.

"Cases of labor trafficking decreased by 2 percent, indicating that the current climate of fear in immigrant and minority communities is likely suppressing reports to the National Hotline. Globally, as well as in the United States, experts believe labor trafficking is far more widespread than sex trafficking. 

Yet, the cases reported to the National Hotline rarely reflect that. A total of 1,249 cases of labor trafficking were reported in 2018, compared to 1,276 in 2017. 

This World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, as human trafficking reports are on the rise but labor trafficking cases continue to be under reported, it is imperative to remember that human trafficking comes in all forms, not just sex trafficking. It is time to shift the narrative and help connect survivors of the 25 types of human trafficking to services and support."

Read full article Here

Here is their list of 25 types of human trafficking: 

Recreational Facilities
Health Care Industry
Forestry & Logging 
Carnivals
Remote Interactive Sexual Acts 
Factories & Manufacturing  
Commercial Cleaning Services
Arts & Entertainment
Illicit Acts 
Landscaping
Hotels & Hospitality 
Construction
Health & Beauty Services 
Personal Sexual Servitude
Agriculture & Animal Husbandry 
Peddling & Begging 
Restaurants & Food Service
Traveling Sales Crews
Pornography
Bars, Strip Clubs & Cantinas
Domestic Work
Residential 
Outdoor Solicitation 
Illicit Massage, Health & Beauty
Escort Services 

Our reports indicate a lot of labor trafficking and exploitation is occurring in faith based communities, which are mostly all approved as 501c3 non-profit, tax exempt organizations - as well as spiritual enlightenment / self-help / half-way house type groups - which are Not regulated at all.  

We have put in a call to the Polaris Project to see about collaboration.

The FACT Team

Monday, September 9, 2019

Religious Boarding School Owners Arrested on Labor Trafficking Students

"The owners of a religious boarding school that was once raided in Alabama have been arrested in Baldwin County and transported to Texas to face human trafficking charges.

Gary Dwayne Wiggins, 49, and wife Meghann Shereen Wiggins, 34, were arrested in Alabama shortly after a Texas grand jury indicted them Aug. 6 on one count each of human trafficking, according to the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office in Texas.

 

The couple are accused of forcing four underage boys to work for a lawn care company they owned, according to court documents."

Read the Full Story HERE