Los Angeles priest raped immigrant boys
January 22, 2013
A Los Angeles priest used bondage and targeted illegal immigrants in his decades long practice of raping Southern California boys, Catholic church records released Monday show. [LA Times]
Confidential letters filed as evidence in a civil case against Father Nicholas Aguilar Rivera reveal that church leaders protected Monsignor Peter Garcia and several other priests who sexually abused boys.
Garcia threatened to have one boy deported if he came forward to law enforcement with sexual abuse allegations. A monsignor documented the case in a letter to an archbishop.
“The priest took him to the jail and instructed him to either behave or else he would end up either in jail of back in Mexico,” the letter reads. “He was supposedly told if you talk, I have lawyer friends and I will surely have you deported.”
Garcia, who died in 2009 without ever facing prosecution, admitted to sexually abusing boys since his ordination in 1966. Letters describing Garcia’s behavior documented incidents, such as the priest tying up a young boy and raping him in Lancaster.
Former Archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahoney discussed strategies of shielding Garcia from prosecution in confidential letters. In 1986, Mahoney wrote to a New Mexico treatment center protecting Garcia and treating pedophile Clergy.
“I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both criminal and civil sectors,” Mahoney wrote.
Still, Garcia returned to Los Angeles in 1987 and left the priesthood in 1989 after refusing to take medication to suppress his sexual urges.