Man Stole Painting of Blessed Virgin to Pay for Abortion
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer A 39 year-old Nebraska man stole a 300 year-old painting of the Blessed Virgin worth $100,000 to pay for the abortion of a 14 year-old teen who he raped in 2006. According to a report by the Associated Press (AP), Aurelio Vallerillo-Sanchez of Omaha pleaded no contest to charges that he stole a painting of the Virgin from St. Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha and sold it for $3,000 in Mexico to fund an abortion for the under-age girl he raped several years ago. Douglas County prosecutor Brenda Beadle said Vallerillo-Sanchez took the money and the teen to Mexico where he planned to get rid of the “evidence” against him. "The plan was that when they got to Mexico, she was to undergo an abortion," she told the AP. However, when an abortion wasn't possible, the man pushed for the baby to be adopted. “He wanted to do everything he could to get rid of this baby 'cause it was evidence against him,” Beadle said. The teen returned to Nebraska after giving birth, the prosecutor said. Vallerillo-Sanchez was arrested in February after DNA linked him to the assault. It was Vallerillo-Sanchez’s other children who gave police information about the theft of the painting. His son said he served as a lookout when his father stole the painting from the Cathedral. His daughter informed police that he received $3,000 for the painting in Mexico. If convicted, Vallerillo-Sanchez faces up to 70 years in prison.