Deacon Rogelio Vega
Diocese of Brooklyn
- 2011-2015: Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary (Williamsburg, NY)
- 2015-2021: St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Church (Woodside, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Deacon Rogelio Vega
Deacon Rogelio Vega worked in the Diocese of Brooklyn. According to media reports, the Diocese officially began the process of permanently removing the former St. Sebastian Church deacon from all ministry after Fr. Vega pleaded guilty to coercing multiple teenagers into sexual acts.
On September 16, 2022, Deacon Vega, 52, pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of enticing a child to engage in sexual conduct after his arrest in January 2021. He now faces the possibility of a maximum sentence of life behind bars.
According to court documents, Vega met up with at least three boys between the ages of 14-16 on multiple occasions between 2015 and January 2021. Vega used phone messaging apps, including Kik messaging app and Grindr, where he expressed his interest in “young guys” to solicit sex. Vega, who is married with four kids, then met the boys for sexual encounters in his car or at motels. Vega’s latest crimes came to light after cops seized his phone during a January 2021 sting operation where Vega was trying to lure a 14-year-old boy to his car for sex acts. The “teen” was actually an undercover cop, and police searched Vega’s phone, where they found sexually explicit messages between him and the three boys.
The federal court documents revealed that Vega met one of the victims, a 16-year-old boy, approximately five to 10 times for sexual activity between April 2019 and December 2020. The victim, in return, sent Vega around 20 sexually explicit images or videos.
The second victim in the federal case was a 14-year-old boy. He told police he met Vega three or four times inside the deacon’s car for sexual acts. The boy said the encounters occurred after Vega messaged him in July 2020 on Grindr, after expressing his interest in “young guys,” and asked the victim his age.
The third victim in the federal case was a 15-year-old boy that Vega targeted in 2015 on Grindr. The victim told police that he met Vega three times when they engaged in sexual activity. One thread of text on the app showed that Vega told the boy to “bring condoms and something we can lay on.” He also wrote, “don’t tell anyone about this.” Vega now faces a statutory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.
The Diocese of Brooklyn released a statement following Vega’s guilty plea stating, “Immediately upon the arrest of Rogelio Vega in January 2021, the Diocese of Brooklyn removed him from ministry, which prohibited him from ministering as a Deacon and performing liturgical duties.”
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Brooklyn, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn 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.