On the eve of his trial, Naasón Joaquín García, 53, a megachurch leader in California, pled guilty to two counts of forcible oral copulation involving minors and one count of a lewd act upon a child who was 15. He was sentenced to 16 years in California prison for sexually abusing female followers of his church. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped 16 counts that included alleged incidents of rape of women and children and human trafficking to produce child pornography. Garcia used their dedication to religion to threaten spiritual damnation if the victims did not comply with his sexual demands and abuse and promised salvation if they complied misusing Bible verses to justify his actions in the name of God. These women suffered in silence as devout followers for fear of retaliation from church members.
Along with Garcia, two women in the church also pled guilty to related charges for aiding in the sexual abuse by “grooming” and facilitating the abuse. Many abusers, especially in positions of power, will coerce others in their circle to aid in the abuse by “grooming” the victims and putting them at ease.
If You Have Been Sexually Abused in the Church
Religious centers and churches are places of sanctuary for members of the community. Individuals who are victims of sexual abuse by a church member may feel shame and hesitate to report the abuse. If you or a loved one have been a victim of sexual abuse by a church member and want to hold the perpetrator accountable:
- Report the abuse to the authorities, give them the perpetrator’s name and describe what happened.
- Report the incidents to the church administrators or any suspicions you may have about any abuse within the church
- If there is any record or proof, such as emails or texts that allude to sexual misconduct, file it away for any lawsuits regarding the incident of sexual abuse.
- Contact a sexual abuse attorney at Charles Boyk for a free consultation.
The attorneys at Charles Boyk can help you file a lawsuit to hold the perpetrator responsible. Our goal is to get you the financial support you need to overcome this difficult time. We understand that sexual abuse by a church leader or member is traumatic because of the trust and faith we have in our religious institutions and members. When filing a lawsuit against a church leader or member, compensation may cover the following:
- Any current or future therapy and counseling costs
- Mental trauma and anguish
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost wages related to the incident
Regardless of what age you experienced the abuse, you can still sue the responsible parties. It is important to note that the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits varies in each state. These guidelines allow a given amount of time to file a lawsuit after the abuse has occurred. Contact an attorney at Charles Boyk to review your rights and the statute of limitations in your state.
A lawsuit against the church may seem wrong, but it can offer closure and prevent the abuse from happening to anyone else. When a victim of abuse steps forward, they give others the courage to report their abuse by the same perpetrator. At the Law Office of Charles Boyk, we understand the mix of emotions that abuse victims may feel, anger, guilt, embarrassment, and fear, so one of our sexual abuse attorneys will guide you through what options are available for filing a suit against the church for sexual abuse for no-cost or obligation.