L.A. Archdiocese Settles Molestation Suit from 2 Brothers
By Alexander Nguyen
December 18, 2015
A settlement was reached between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and two brothers who sued alleging they were sexually molested nearly three decades ago by a visiting cleric from Mexico, an attorney for the archdiocese said Friday.
The plaintiffs, now young men, were between 9 and 11 years old when they were allegedly abused by Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera on the grounds of St. Agatha Church in Los Angeles in 1987. They sued the archdiocese in June 2014.
“Plaintiffs were both terrified of Father Aguilar-Rivera’s conduct and frozen because of their obedience to and reverence of Father Aguilar-Rivera,” their lawsuit stated.
Los Angeles police believe the boys were among some 26 boys molested during a nine-month period in 1987.
Attorney J. Michael Hennigan, on behalf of the archdiocese, said the settlement was reached Wednesday, the same day Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara Scheper heard a defense motion to dismiss the case, then took the issues under submission.
Hennigan said Aguilar-Rivera has been a fugitive for years and that he was unsure if he is still alive.
Hennigan declined to comment on the accord. In February 2014, a $13 million settlement was reached with 17 plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit against the archdiocese, including 11 who were alleged victims of Aguilar-Rivera’s abuse.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the earlier settlement alleged in court papers involving that former Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony and his top aide, Msgr. Thomas Curry, had “actively thwarted” and “misled” LAPD detectives concerning the actions of Aguilar-Rivera.
Aguilar-Rivera was formally charged in 1988, but was never prosecuted because he left the country.