A judge has ruled that a Mexican man who alleges that a Roman Catholic priest abused him when he was younger as the priest traveled back and forth between Los Angeles and Mexico can sue the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and have the case heard in the U.S.
The man, now 26, claims that Father Nicholas Aguilar Rivera molested him when he was only 12 years old. Tuesday, based on the 222-year-old Alien Tort Claims Act which addresses foreign complaints, U.S. District Judge Josephine S. Tucker has ruled that “the abuse, the conduct we alleged, falls within the meaning of the Alien Tort Statute as interpreted by the Supreme Court,” said attorney Anthony DeMarco.
Including 26 in L.A. in the late ‘80s, Father Rivera has been accused of sexually abusing as many a 60 children. The lawsuit has been brought against L.A. and Mexico church leaders, who the accusers allege allowed Rivera to abuse children in both countries, as they attempted to conceal his history of pedophilia, an allegation the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese denies.
The Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789 allows foreigners access to U.S. courts when solutions cannot be met due to lacking resources in the home countries, attorneys said.