Crime and Courts

DC Priest Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Woman During Confession

Urbano Vázquez, 49, was convicted on a misdemeanor charge Monday. He was already serving a 15-year sentence for the sexual abuse of two child parishioners

A D.C. priest was found guilty of sexually abusing a woman parishioner during a confession session at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church, a large and predominantly Latino parish in Columbia Heights. 

Urbano Vázquez, 49, was convicted Monday on a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse. He was immediately sentenced to 180 days in jail, the maximum sentence, a Justice Department release said. 

Vázquez was accused of touching the woman’s breast over her sweater without her consent during a confession in the parish building in April 2017.

Vázquez was already serving a 15-year sentence plus 15 years of probation after he was convicted in 2019 of sexually abusing two child parishioners. He was found to have abused a 9-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl in 2016, two years after he was ordained in the Capuchin Franciscan religious order.

He previously made comments about the woman's appearance and marital status, the Justice Department said.

Shortly after the abuse, the victim told her mother about the assault. She urged her to stay away from Vázquez.

In 2018, the woman reported the incident to another priest after Vázquez was accused of molesting two children, the release said. That priest then notified law enforcement. 

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