A Mamaroneck Village priest arrested in December of 2008 was indicted on Thursday, April 30 and charged with three counts of sex abuse in the first degree and one count of attempted sex abuse in the first degree.
Father Richard Ordoñez, 37, a visiting priest with St. Vito’s Church in Mamaroneck is charged with sexual assault of a parishioner. The priest is from Ecuador and had been living in the rectory at 816 Underhill Road, which is where the assaults are alleged to have occurred (See: Mamaroneck Priest Charged With Sexually Abusing A Woman)
The woman had gone to marriage counseling with Father Ordoñez in January, 2004.
According to a release from the Westchester District Attorney’s office, on January 23, Father Ordoñez grabbed the victim and attempted to sexually assault her. She broke free, but he again grabbed and forcibly groped her. Ultimately she broke away, fled and avoided further contact with the priest.
In September 2008, after a conversation with a friend, the woman reported the assaults to the Mamaroneck Village Police. At that point, Father Ordonez was out of the country, but when the victim learned he was returning, she went to the police.
On December 6, 2008, Mamaroneck Village police questioned Father Ordoñez, who was back serving as a priest and living in the rectory. Two days later, on December 8, police arrested the priest at JFK airport as he was about to board a plane with a one-way ticket to Ecuador.
He was later charged with one count of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Father Ordoñez spent a number of weeks in the Westchester County jail before he was able to raise the $50,000 bail set by Mamaroneck Village Judge Dan Gallagher.
It’s unclear why Father Ordoñez is being indicted again on charges similar to those from December. The Gazette received the release too late to ask follow-up questions.
Following the original arrest, the New York Archdiocese revoked the priest’s authority to serve in the parish.
A case manager with a Westchester social service agency told the Gazette in December that she knew of four other women referred for marriage counseling with the priest from 2003 to 2004 who later said they had been abused by the priest. One woman said he had forced her to have sex with him.
However, the case manager did not contact police. The current indictment involves only one woman, the original victim identified in December. It appears that no other victims have come forward.
Father Ordoñez’ arrest in December was a shock to the St. Vito community, particularly to the Hispanic parishioners who attended the services he conducted in Spanish.