Press Conference: Mahony, Mexican Diocese and Notorious Predator are Sued Again

Police Estimate That Priest Molested at Least 26 Los Angeles Kids in Just Nine Months

Current #2 archdiocesan official helped cleric escape cops & flee the US

Even after being found guilty of abuse, he worked as priest & is still one now


(Los Angeles, CA) – At a sidewalk news conference:

  • an unusual new civil child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against a US and a Mexican diocese will be disclosed and
  • the roles of two of the world’s most powerful Catholic Cardinals in deliberately transferring a notorious known pedophile priest across national boundaries to help him evade criminal prosecution will be exposed.

The new civil lawsuit:

  • charges that the church hierarchy systematically encouraged sex crimes, and
  • lists nine California priests who are part of a long string of known pedophile priests? who church officials trafficked between the US and Latin America.

When he was 9 or 10, in 1987, a boy was molested by Fr. Nicholas Aguilar Rivera in East LA. He’s now filing a civil lawsuit charging child sex abuse and cover-up. Two years earlier, Rivera had been sent to LA from Mexico after having been beaten up by parents of kids he’d molested in and after four of his victims contacted the police.

Aguilar’s Mexican bishop (Norberto Rivera, who is now Mexico City’s Cardinal), used code language? in letters warning top LA archdiocesan staff about Aguilar’s crimes. In spite of all this, LA Cardinal Roger Mahony let Aguilar work in two LA parishes: at Our Lady of Guadelupe and St. Agatha’s.

In January 1988, LA Bishop Thomas Curry learned that police were seeking Aguilar. Curry encouraged the predator to flee to Mexico and Aguilar did so, successfully evading capture and prosecution.  An LA prosecutor has publicly said that Curry “facilitated (Aguilar’s) flight,” For years, Aguilar continued to work in Mexican parishes and remains a priest to this day.

Two years ago, attorneys for another Aguilar victim released 30 pages of records that prove a long pattern of concealment of Aguilar’s crimes by Mahony and Rivera. That lawsuit named Mahony and Rivera (a recent contender for the pope) as defendants and was settled for a substantial sum.

In 2003, a Mexican judge declared Aguilar guilty of sexual abuse but Aguilar was freed on bail and later deemed too old to be jailed for the crime.

The lawsuit names eight other California priests who are part of a long string of known pedophile priests? who church officials trafficked between the US and Latin America.

Now in his 30s, the victim is married and lives in southern California.

(A similar news conference is being held by SNAP-Mexico leaders at 1 pm in Mexico City with Joaquin Aguilar Mendez the Aguilar victim who first sued Mahony and Mexican officials in 2006).

The sex abuse victim, his attorney, and several clergy sex victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including a former California man who now heads SNAP’s Mexico chapter

Thursday, June 18 at 11:00 AM

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 W. Temple Street (at Hill)
Los Angeles, CA