Priest rejects plea deal in sexual assault cases
WASHINGTON – A Catholic priest who is charged with sexually assaulting three members of a Northwest Washington parish he served rejected a plea offer from prosecutors on Friday and agreed to go to trial.
Urbano Vazquez, 46, was arrested last November and charged with sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and a woman, all of whom were members of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart. Vazquez served as the church’s assistant pastor.
He was charged with two counts of felony second-degree child abuse and one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse.
Vazquez, through his attorney, rejected a deal that included him pleading guilty to one felony count of seconddegree child sexual abuse and two counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse. If he had agreed, prosecutors would have dropped other charges.
According to a court filing, if convicted without the plea deal, he could face as much as 13 years in prison. With the plea deal, Vazquez would have faced about half that time. He will remain in jail until the trial, which was set for August.