Judge denies retrial for DC priest found guilty of sex abuse

By Jack Pointer
October 20, 2019

A Catholic priest convicted this summer of sexually abusing two girls at a Northwest D.C. church will not get a new trial, a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Friday.

Urbano Vazquez was found guilty Aug. 15 on four counts of sexual abuse for acts involving two girls between 2015 and 2017.

The 47-year-old had served as assistant pastor at Shrine of the Sacred Heart.

In filing a motion for retrial last month, Vazquez’s defense attorney cited errors that deprived the priest of a fair trial, including denying a request to try him separately for each victim. In addition, prosecutors used evidence of other alleged acts for which he wasn’t charged, lawyer Robert Bonsib said.

Judge Juliet McKenna ruled that those arguments had been argued and ruled upon before the jury trial.

Vazquez faces a maximum of 45 years plus 270 days in prison when the judge sentences him Nov. 22.


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