LOS ANGELES (CA)
United States District Court: Central District of California
Filed February 25, 2011
[See other Aguilar documents.]
On April 20, 2010, Plaintiff Juan Doe 1, a Mexican national, filed suit against American Defendants Cardinal Roger Mahony and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles ("Archdiocese of Los Angeles") and Mexican Defendants Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Father Nicholas Aguilar Rivera ("Fr. Aguilar"), and the Diocese of Tehuacan pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute ("ATS"). Plaintiff alleges that, in 1997 , when he was twelve-years old, he was sexually abused by Aguilar. Plaintiff alleges that this abuse occurred because the other Defendants' conspired to conceal the previous widespread sexual abuse of children committed by Fr. Aguilar.
Based on this incident, Plaintiff asserts ten causes of action: (1) rape and other sexual abuse; (2) crimes against humanity; (3) torture; (4) cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; (5) civil conspiracy; (6) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (7) negligence against Cardinal Rivera and the Diocese of Tehuacan; (8) negligent supervision/failure to warn against Cardinal Rivera and the Diocese of Tehuacan; (9) negligence against Cardinal Mahony and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; and (10) negligent failure to warn against Cardinal Mahony and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. (See generally First Amended Complaint, "FAC," Doc. 10.) Plaintiff alleges that Cardinal Rivera and the Diocese of Tehuacan supervised, protected, and facilitated Father Aguilar's actions in Mexico, and that Cardinal Mahony and Archdiocese of Los Angeles aided Father Rivera in avoiding detection by authorities during the time that he worked in Los Angeles in 1987 and in eventually fleeing to Mexico.
Defendants Mahony and Archdiocese of Los Angeles filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Doc. 24). Plaintiff opposed the Motion (Doc. 25), and Defendants replied (29). Having read the papers, heard oral argument, and taken the matter under submission, the Court DENIES Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
. . .
Since July 27, 1970, Fr. Aguilar has been an ordained Catholic Priest. (FAC ¶ 15.) From then until 1987, Fr. Aguilar was a priest for the Diocese of Tehuacan, Mexico, and a parish priest of San Sebastian Parish in Cuacnopalan, Mexico. (Id. ¶ 15-16.) During that time, Defendant Cardinal Rivera, then the Bishop of Tehuacan, had reason to believe that Fr. Aguilar had sexually abused young boys. (Id. ¶ 18.)
On January 27,1987, Cardinal Rivera wrote to Cardinal Mahony, then Archbishop of Los Angeles, and recommended that Fr. Aguilar work as a priest in Los Angeles. (Id. ¶ 19.) In his letter, Rivera informed Mahony and the Archdiocese that Fr. Aguilar was seeking to relocate to California for "family and health reasons." (Id.) Around February 1987, Rivera transferred Fr. Aguilar to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
On March 16, 1987, Mahony assigned Fr. Aguilar to be the associate pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Los Angeles. On March 23, 1987, Rivera sent Mahony a confidential letter that, according to Rivera, "provided a summary of Aguilar's homosexual problems," including the sexual abuse of minors while serving as a priest in Mexico. (Id. ¶ 23) On May 18, 1987, Mahony assigned Fr. Aguilar to serve as the associate pastor at St. Agatha in Los Angeles. (Id. ¶ 24.)
In December 1987, two altar boys from Our Lady of Guadalupe informed their mother that Fr. Aguilar molested them. (Id. ¶ 25.) The mother then reported this abuse to Fr. Bill McClean, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. (Id. ¶ 26.) Sister Renee, the Principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was also informed that Fr. Aguilar was molesting children. (Id. ¶ 29.) On January 8, 1988, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was notified that Fr. Aguilar was molesting children in Los Angeles. (Id. ¶ 32.)
On January 8, 1988, Fr. McClean informed Monsignor Thomas Curry, the Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, of Fr. Aguilar's alleged sexual abuse. (Id.¶ 33.) The next day, Monsignor Curry confronted Fr. Aguilar about the allegations, at which time Fr. Aguilar informed Curry that he would be returning to Mexico. (Id. ¶ 36.) Monsignor Curry did not notify law enforcement of Fr. Aguilar's intent to leave the country or of his alleged sexual abuse. (Id.) On the evening of January 9, 1988, a relative of Fr. Aguilar took him to Tijuana. (Id. ¶ 37.)