DC priest indicted in sex abuse of parishioners — 2 kids and 1 woman

A D.C. Catholic priest has been indicted on sex abuse charges. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)(Getty Images/iStockphoto/DmitriMaruta)
A D.C. Catholic priest has been indicted on seven counts of sexually abusing two children and a woman who were parishioners. He will plead not guilty, his lawyer told WTOP.

Court records show Urbano Vazquez, who was a priest at Shrine of the Sacred Heart, was indicted on four felony counts — two for second-degree sex abuse with a victim under age 12, and two with a victim under 18. He was also charged with three related misdemeanors.

“Father Urbano intends to contest the charges,” defense attorney Robert Bonsib said.

Vazquez faces a statutory maximum of 30 years, six months in prison.

In March, Vazquez and his attorney rejected a plea offer to reduced charges, in which he could have faced up to 11 years behind bars.

Vazquez will be arraigned May 24. In a motions hearing that same day, lawyers will argue whether Vazquez should be tried separately for each victim.

As WTOP first reported, a 9-year-old girl told police Vazquez kissed her on the mouth and inappropriately touched her approximately 60 times in 2017.

After Vazquez’s arrest was reported, he was charged with two more crimes, involving another minor, and the woman.

The offenses allegedly took place while Vazquez was a priest at Sacred Heart.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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