|Assignment Record – Rev. Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera aka Nicolas Aguilar
Summary of Case: Ordained a priest of the Tehuacan diocese in Mexico in 1970, Rev. Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera was sent to the U.S. archdiocese of Los Angeles in March 1987, after he was severely attacked at the Cuacnopalan parish where he was pastor. An investigator in the case, who also lived in the parish neighborhood, said Aguilar-Rivera often had young men and teenagers spend the night with him. The investigator suspected the priest was attacked by one or more of them. Aguilar-Rivera was assigned to an East Los Angeles parish, and was transferred from there to a South Central Los Angeles parish after just a few months. In December 1987 the young sons of two of the many Spanish-speaking families whose trust Aguilar-Rivera had gained told their parents, who told the archdiocese, that the priest had sexually abused them. Aguilar-Rivera was confronted with the allegations by archdiocesan officials. The officials did not inform police, and Aguilar-Rivera fled to Mexico. California police estimated that Aguilar-Rivera sexually abused at least 26 children from both Los Angeles parishes during his nine months in the archdiocese. He is said to have abused at least 60 Mexican children, both before and after his stay in California. Aguilar-Rivera was charged with abuse in Mexico in 1997, was convicted of the charges in 2003, but was not sentenced because the judge determined that the charges were too old. He was allowed to remain in ministry. In July 2009 Aguilar-Rivera's laicization was announced. In March 2013 Aguilar-Rivera remains at large and is on Mexico's federal Most Wanted list on charges of rape and indecent assault. He is also wanted in Los Angeles for charges of lewd acts on a child.
Tehuacan bishop was Rafael Ayal y Ayala (1962-1985), followed by Norberto Rivera Carrera (1985-1995)
• A former minor seminary student in Tehuacan said in 2004 that one of his classmates in the 1970s told him Aguilar had attacked him, and that everyone knew to stay away from Aguilar. The former student said that when he told the priests in charge about the incident, he (the student) was expelled from the seminary.
|In 1986 or 1987 Aguilar was attacked and found in a pool of blood at the church residence where he was pastor. A former sherrif and neighbor who helped investigate said that Aguilar always had young men and teenagers spend the night on weekends. The former sherriff suspected the priest was attacked by one or more of these guests.|
March 16, 1987
Los Angeles archbishop was Roger Michael Mahony (1985-2011)
|May 18, 1987||Our Lady of Guadalupe||
Los Angeles (El Sereno)
• In Dec. 1987 two altar boys from Our Lady of Guadalupe reported they had been sexually abused by Aguilar. Three months later Aguilar was indicted by a grand jury of 19 counts of lewn acts, involving 10 children.
• In June 2009 a former altar boy accused Aguilar-Rivera in a lawsuit of having sexually abused him at a Catholic church near downtown Los Angeles in 1987, just before the priest fled to Mexico. The abuse is said to have occurred when the accuser was 9 or 10 years old.
|CA||associate pastor (pro tem)||Aguilar was transferred out of Mexico and granted permission by Los Angeles' Cardinal Mahony to work in the archdiocese, despite a letter from Bishop Rivera of the Tehuacan diocese that warned of Aguilar's "homosexual problem". Church expert Richard Sipe has testified that "homosexual problem" is known code for a problem of sex with minor boys.|
|May 18, 1987||Jan. 9, 1988||St. Agatha's||
Los Angeles (South-Central)
• Per California police, Aguilar sexually abused at least 26 children during his nine months as a priest in the archdiocese. At St. Agatha's, the incidents were said to have occurred in a church classroom, where the children were teaching Aguilar-Rivera English.
|CA||2/2 Pastor was Rev. James H. Barnes.||Aguilar fled from Los Angeles to Mexico in Jan. 1988 after being confronted by with allegations of child sexual abuse. He told archdiocesan officials he was going; they did not stop him, nor did they alert police.|
|Jan. 9, 1988||1992||Mexico||In Feb. 1988 an Aguilar victim informed the Los Angeles archdiocese that he reported his abuse to police. In March 1988 Cardinal Mahony informed Bishop Rivera in Mexico of the allegations against Aguilar-Rivera and asked that the priest cooperate with the L.A. Police Department. This was after the L.A. Times broke the story about the allegations against Aguilar. In his reply, the Tehuacan bishop agreed to cooperate, but said Aguilar-Rivera had not returned to the Tehuacan diocese.|
Mexico City archbishop was Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada (1977-1994)
|1993||Nuestra Señora de Perpetuo Socorro||Torre Blanca||Mexico||associate pastor|
|San Antonia de Padua||
• In 2006 Aguilar was accused in a lawsuit of raping a 12 year-old boy at this parish in Mexico in October 1994. Aguilar's accuser said he was an altar boy, and the priest became a close friend of the family. He said the priest grabbed him and sodomized him, then told him that if he told he would do the same to his siblings. The accuser said he reported the abuse to authorities, but that nothing was done. Further, he said he and his family were ostracized by other parishioners and authorities.
Defendents in the 2006 lawsuit were Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Rivera, and Rev. Nicolás Aguilar-Rivera. The Cardinals were accused of helping Aguilar escape, a charge they both denied. (A detailed webpage with diocesan and legal documents regarding this case can be found
Mario Espinosa Contreras was Tehuacan bishop (1996-2005)
|San Vicente Ferrer/San Nicolas Tolentino||
• Aguilar was accused of sexually abusing four Tehuacan boys in 1997. One of the boys, whom the priest was supposed to be preparing for first communion, told his parents that Aguilar had been keeping him after first communion classes and sexually abusing him for months. The boy said the priest threatened to kill his mother or his younger brother if he told. The mother took the boys to the police station to report the abuse. Through her unrelenting efforts Aguilar was convicted-but it took six years and the conviction was only of a misdemeanor abuse charge.
• According to one mother from Tehuacan, a diocesan official told her Aguilar had abused about 60 kids, which is why the diocese couldn't afford to pay for her son's counseling.
San Vicente Ferrer was a chapel within the San Nicolas Tolentino parish.
Aguilar was charged in Mexico in the 1997 abuse case. He was kept in ministry, even after being convicted in 2003. A Mexican judge found him guilty but, because of the statute of limitations, Aguilar was not sentenced.
|1999||San Miguel Arcangel||Mexico City||Mexico|
Bishop of the Ciudad Lázaro Cárdenas diocese was Salvador Flores Huerta (1993-2006)
||Mexico||This assignment is per news reports.|
Puebla archbishop was Rosendo Huesca Pacheco (1977-2009)
|Mexico||This assignment is per news reports.|
|Cuernavaca bishop was Florencio Olvera Ochoa (2002-2009)||Mexico||This assignment is per news reports.|
In July 2009, Tehuacan bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez announced Aguilar-Rivera's laicization.
In Oct. 2011 Aguilar-Rivera was said to have been seen in Jonacatapec, which is a town in Morelos, Mexico.
In Feb. 2013 Aguilar-Rivera remained at large, and was on Mexico’s federal prosecutor’s Most Want List on charges of rape and indecent assault. He was also wanted in Los Angeles on 19 counts of lewd acts against a child.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1988)