Washington D.C Priest Sentenced to 15 Years for Sexually Abusing Young Girls
Washington D.C. Catholic priest Urbano Vazquez, age 47, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday, November 22 after he was found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls. In August of 2019, he was found guilty on one count of second-degree child sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl, and two counts of second-degree child sexual abuse and one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child against a 9-year-old girl. Both girls were his parishioners. The crimes were committed between 2015 and 2017, while he was an assistant pastor at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart. This parish belongs to the Archdiocese of Washington. Vazquez is a priest from a Religious Order of Friars known as the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.
Vazquez groped the 13-year-old and kissed and groped the 9-year-old. 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.
Both victims testified at the trial. The younger girl testified that her desire to be a nun died when Vazquez kissed her in 2016 and groped her “a lot of times,” including in the church’s sacristy.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Matt Williams wrote, in his own letter to the judge, that “each victim testified that when the defendant was touching them, he acted like there was nothing unusual or wrong with what was going on. He did not speak, did not apologize, and did not react.”
When Vazquez took the stand in his own defense and did not acknowledge his criminal behavior, Williams added, “he swore that the young girls whose lives he changed forever were liars. It takes a depraved — and dangerously manipulative — person to do that.”
Urbano Vazquez’s abuse of these children is a disgraceful example of abuse of power. Unfortunately, all too often, we see men with depraved sexual interests, gravitate to the clergy and other professions where they will have opportunity and access to molest children. The victims of this crime should be commended for having the courage to report these crimes and stand up to their perpetrator in Court and hold him accountable.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Washington. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a priest or other clergy, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.