D.C. Priest Convicted Of Sexually Abusing A Woman During Confession

A D.C. Catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing an adult woman during her confession, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for D.C. Father Urbano Vazquez was serving at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Columbia Heights at the time of the incident.

This crime is in addition to two previous instances of sex abuse, those involving minors – a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year old girl – of which Father Vazquez was found guilty in 2019. He is currently serving 15 years in prison as a result of those, and Judge Juliet McKenna with the D.C. Superior Court sentenced him to an additional 180 days in prison for the new conviction, the maximum sentence allowable.

Vazquez abused the woman, who was not identified, in April 2017 during a confession at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, twice touching her chest without her consent, as well as talking about her appearance and her marital status, according to the release.

Prosecutors say the woman told her mother at the time of the abuse, who suggested that she stay away from Vazquez.  The following year, when reports surfaced accusing Vazquez of sexually abusing children, the woman disclosed the abuse to another Shrine of the Sacred Heart priest. That priest notified law enforcement.

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