A D.C. priest convicted of sexually abusing two child parishioners was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading for mercy because he was "too busy" to commit the crime.
Urbano Vazquez had asked for mercy at his sentencing and maintained his innocence, saying he was “too busy to do a crazy thing.” The judge sentenced him Friday to prison and 15 years probation.
Prosecutors had requested that Vazquez be sentenced to just over 20 years.
WTOP-FM reports the 47-year-old priest submitted a nine-page written letter to a judge ahead of his sentencing.
The letter was submitted alongside a pre-sentencing memo in which Vazquez’s lawyer asked the judge to consider Vazquez’s years of religious service and lack of criminal history. It followed Vazquez’s life from his birth in Mexico to being ordained in Pittsburgh five years ago to his time at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, a large and predominantly Latino parish in Columbia Heights neighborhood of Northwest D.C. It didn't mention the victims, then 9 and 13 years old.
Both victims testified at the trial, which concluded in August. 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.