The Los Angeles Archdiocese has settled what officials said is the last of its pending priest molestation lawsuits, bringing to a close a decade of wrenching abuse litigation that cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million.
The church reached the $13-million agreement with 17 victims last week, on the eve of a trial scheduled to begin Feb. 14 over the alleged acts of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera, a visiting cleric from Mexico who police believe molested more than two dozen boys over nine months in 1987.
Eleven men, who were ages 7 to 12 when they were allegedly abused by the priest, were scheduled to appear in court to testify that Cardinal Roger Mahony and his aides had enabled the priest to flee just days before police were notified.
Attorneys for the men alleged in court papers that Mahony and his top aide, Msgr. Thomas Curry, had “actively thwarted” and “misled” Los Angeles Police Department investigators at the time.
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