26 Victims win $13 million Settlement
Los Angeles Sex Abuse attorney, Anthony DeMarco won the largest child molestation settlement to date against the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese. News and media sources across the country, including the Associated Press, covered the settlement. Anthony DeMarco represented 26 victims of clergy abuse by a Roman Catholic priests in Los Angeles. You can see Anthony DeMarco at the press conference in the clip below:
In this groundbreaking case, Anthony DeMarco discovered that Cardinal Roger Mahony instructed church staff not to provide a list of altar boys who served with Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera to police investigators. Father Aguilar-Rivera was investigated by authorities in 1988 for allegations of child molestation at St. Agatha’s Church in Los Angeles, the parish where he worked. Eleven of the victims in the case were altar boys. Other accused child molesters in the case include Father Michael Nocita and Reverend George Miller.
What made this case so important is that Anthony DeMarco clearly demonstrated the Cardinal’s active involvement in the cover-up and protection of a priest who sexually abused children.
Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera
Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera was a Roman Catholic Priest who was visiting and on assignment from Mexico. The non-profit site Bishop-Accountability.org features a 2004 report by the Dallas Morning News showing that leaders in the Catholic Church, both from Mexico and from The United States, helped Father Rivera escape authorities and avoid arrest when his molestation victims finally reported the abuse.
According to Church records, Father Aguilar-Rivera was laicized–a term used to indicate that the priest is no longer permitted by The Church to practice as a priest–in 2009. However, while investigating the case Anthony DeMarco discovered eyewitness reports of Father Aguilar-Rivera seen ministering and presenting himself as a priest in the Pueblo, Mexico as late as 2014.
Father Michael Steven Nocita
Four of the victims in this case were women who sexually abused by Father Nocita when they were young girls attending Catholic schools in the Los Angeles area. Father Nocita taught at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, CA and at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, Los Angeles during the 1980’s. When Father Nocita’s victims finally reported their abuse, the Catholic Church offered to pay for and/or provide them with counseling.
Father Nocita was laicized in 2006 and his personnel file was released when Anthony DeMarco settled a case in 2013 in which the Los Angeles Archdiocese agreed to release all of the personnel files for priests who were accused of sexual abuse in the Los Angeles area.
Father George Miller
Father George Miller plead guilty and was convicted in 2008 of molesting a 9-year-old altar boy in the 1980’s while serving as a priest at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, CA. He also admitted to sexually molesting three other boys from the same church. He is a registered sex offender and is listed on the California Megan’s Law website. In 2013 he was living in Oxnard, CA and maintained associations with Carl Suthin, a former Catholic Priest who was arrested in 2003 for molesting boys in the 1990s and then laicized in 2005.
Be sure to visit our RESOURCES page to learn more about the details of this case and our discoveries about the Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal.