Father Urbano Vazquez Ortega
Archdiocese of Washington
Assigned as follows:
- Shrine of the Sacred Heart (Washington, DC)
- Our Lady of the Mountains (Cumberland, Maryland)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Urbano Vazquez Ortega
According to media reports, in October 2018, the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin reported to the Archdiocese of Washington allegations that Father Urbano Vazquez Ortega sexually abused a 9-year old girl. The girl told police Vazquez kissed her on the mouth and inappropriately touched her approximately 60 times in 2017. Father Vazquez was removed from ministry and his priestly faculties suspended.
In November 2018, Father Vazquez was arrested and charged with second-degree child sexual abuse. The alleged victim said Father Vazquez put his hand down her shirt and touched her breast at Sacred Heart in May 2015. She was 13 at the time. According to court documents, the girl’s mother reported the incident to the pastor of Sacred Heart, Father Moises Villalta, in 2015.
The alleged abuse was not reported to police until October 2018 after Father Villalta told another priest visiting the church about the allegations, documents say. During a review of the allegations, the Archdiocese of Washington said it found that Father Villalta, failed to follow protocols in reporting abuse allegations to authorities and the Archdiocese of Washington. Father Villalta was removed as pastor.
In 2015, investigators learned of two additional complaints against Vazquez. According to documents, a 16-year-old victim said Father Vazquez kissed her on her lips in the church dining room. When the girl’s mother walked in and saw him kissing her, Father Vazquez claimed he didn’t know what came over him. The girl’s mother reported the incident to the Sacred Heart Church twice — in both September 2015 and January 2016.
In another report, a 15-year-old girl said Father Vazquez rubbed her leg during confession that same year. The parish’s child protection coordinator was also placed on administrative leave.
In December 2018, Father Vazquez was arrested on new sexual abuse allegations of a young girl starting when she was age 9.
In December 2018, Father Vazquez’s name first appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.
In May 2019, Father Vazquez was Indicted in on seven counts of sex abuse of two children and a woman. His lawyer said he will plead not guilty.
In August 2019, Vazquez was convicted of molesting two children following a jury trial. Prosecutors also say that he has been charged with a misdemeanor relating to an adult female in the same parish, and relating to a 2017 incident. He awaits trial on those charges.
Vazquez is expected to be sentenced in the coming months.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Washington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.