Local Priest Pleads Guilty

The Ecuadorean Catholic priest who had been working at St Vito’s parish in Mamaroneck  pleaded guilty Friday



to groping a parishoner who sought marriage counseling from him in 2004.

The Rev.Richard Ordonez, 38,  will serve no jail time after pleading to a reduced charge of forcible touching, a misdemeanor. He agreed to perform up to 500 hours of community service and to stay away from the victim.

He will be sentenced Jan. 12 to a conditional discharge, meaning he will not be supervised by probation. He remains free on $50,000 bail.

Assistant District Attorney Julia Cornachio said if Ordonez rejected the plea deal and was convicted at trial, she would push for state prison time.

Ordonez, who counseled the victim from Jan. 12-23, 2004, was accused of grabbing her breasts and trying to sexually assault her at the Underhill Avenue church, where he had a bedroom. She fled the counseling session and avoided him. Sources say she was further ridiculed by members of the congregation for coming forward.

Police saidthe woman made the accusation in September 2008 after learning that Ordonez, who had left the area, would be returning to the parish.

He was arrested Dec. 8 by police at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he was about to board a plane with a one-way ticket to Ecuador. TheLoop has learned the head priest at St. Vito’s escorted him to the airport.



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