Father Urbano Vazquez Ortega
Archdiocese of Washington/Baltimore/Capuchin
- 2013-2014: Our Lady of the Mountains (Cumberland, Maryland)
- 204-2018: Shrine of the Sacred Heart (Washington, DC)
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Urbano Vazquez Ortega
Father Urbano Vazquez-Ortega was a Capuchin priest who worked in the Archdiocese of Washington in DC and Baltimore. In 2018, Fr. Vazquez-Ortega was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Father Vazquez-Ortega.
According to the AG’s report, in 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.
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, when she was 13 years old. According to court documents, the girl’s mother reported the incident to the pastor of Sacred Heart, Father Moises Villalta, in 2015.
Fr. Vazquez was removed from ministry, and his faculties were suspended. 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 2019, Fr. Vazquez was indicted on seven counts of sexual abuse of 2 children and a woman. He was convicted later in 2019 of molesting the two children. 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.
Vazquez was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was found guilty of sexually abusing the two young girls between 2015 and 2017. In August of 2019, he was found guilty of one count of second-degree child sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl, two counts of second-degree child sexual abuse, and one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child against a 9-year-old girl. He denied the charges and has maintained his innocence. Earlier in the week, he submitted a nine-page written letter to the judge asking for mercy at his sentencing, saying he “was too busy to do a crazy thing.” He never mentioned his victims or the crimes he was convicted of committing.
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.