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Banner of church leader accused of sex crimes remains up despite controversy

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 07:35:23-04

MILWAUKEE — A picture of a religious leader who is charged with sex crimes involving children is hanging on the front of a church on Milwaukee's south-side.

Some in the community say they don’t want to have to look at the giant banner given the accusations, but church leaders said it won’t be coming down because they believe he’s wrongfully accused.

The banner showing religious leader Naasón Joaquín García has been hanging on the front of La Luz Del Mundo's Milwaukee church on Cesar Chavez Drive. for the past several years, but just recently it’s gotten a lot of negative attention.

"I think it’s disgusting unless it says ‘wanted’ and a reward," Will Rodgers of Milwaukee said.

Rodgers says that’s because García was arrested and charged last month in California for dozens of crimes including child pornography, child rape and human trafficking.

"I’ve seen it every day," said Cory Orcholski. "I think it’s stupid."

García is the leader of La Luz Del Mundo, a religious organization with 15,000 affiliated churches including Sally Teran's in Milwaukee.

"We’re not concerned because we know him, we know the reality of things so we are not concerned at all," said Teran.

Teran believes their leader has been falsely accused.

"Just like our lord Jesus Christ, many believed in him, many did not," Teran said. "For us, he is the apostle Naasón Joaquín García."

Teran says church lawyers told them they are under no obligation to take down the banners because this is private property.

"You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do, but then, you really can’t control the public," Rodgers said.

García is being held on a $50 million bond.