Virgin Mary Artwork Stolen to Pay for Abortion

Denise Clay's picture

Aurelio Vallerillo-Sanchez, 39 of Omaha, Nebraska pleaded “no contest” Friday for stealing a painting of the Virgin Mary to pay for an abortion. The abortion was to cover up a crime Vallerillo-Sanchez committed.

In September, 2006, Vallerillo-Sanchez repeatedly raped a 14 year old girl. From these sexual assaults she became pregnant. Vallerillo-Sanchez then stole the “Virgin Immaculata” painting from the St. Cecilla Cathedral in Omaha. He then took the painting and the girl to Mexico to sell the painting to pay for an abortion.

In Mexico Vallerillo-Sanchez was able to sell the 300 year old artwork that is valued around $100,000 for $3,000. He was not able to get the abortion. When Vallerillo-Sanchez took her to a doctor, it was determined an abortion would have been dangerous due to the stage of development of the baby.

In a desperate attempt to get rid of the evidence linking him to the crime, Vallerillo-Sanchez tried to have the baby given away through adoption. He then threatened the girl not to tell anyone that the baby was his.

This February police arrested him for the sexual assault and the theft of the Virgin Mary artwork. Vallerillo-Sanchez’s kids cooperated with the police by giving details of the theft. His son told the police he was the lookout when the Virgin Mary painting was stolen.

Vallerillo-Sanchez will face up to 70 years in prison for first-degree sexual assault and felony theft. His sentencing is in October. He was also linked to other thefts, but no charges were filed for those thefts as part of his plea deal.

Vallerillo-Sanchez will spend many years behind bars. The Virgin Mary painting is lost forever to those who visit St. Cecilla Cathedral.

Add new comment