The Los Angeles Archdiocese has reached a $13-million settlement with 17 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse, including those who say they were molested as children by a visiting Mexican cleric, attorneys announced Tuesday.
The settlement was reached on the eve of a trial last Friday over alleged abuses by Nicholas Aguilar-Rivera, a priest who police believe molested more than two-dozen boys during a nine-month stay at two Los Angeles parishes in 1987. Aguilar-Rivera fled to Mexico in the days before police were notified and was never criminally prosecuted.
Attorneys for 11 men claimed in court papers that Archbishop Roger Mahony and his top aide, Monsignor Thomas Curry, were responsible for allowing the priest to flee, alleging that church leaders had "actively thwarted" and "misled" LAPD investigators at the time.
The sum covers approximately $1 million each for those alleged victims, as well as money for six others who say they were molested by other priests, according to attorney Anthony De Marco.
The settlement comes on top of more than $720 million the L.A. Archdiocese already has paid out to hundreds of victims of molestation.