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DA: St. Sebastian’s Deacon Arrested For Attempting to Have Sex With Child

Deacon Rogelio Vega (Saint Sebastian Roman Catholic Church)

Jan. 22, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A Catholic deacon from Maspeth was caught trying to engage a 14-year-old boy in a sex act through an undercover sting Tuesday.

Rogelio Vega — who serves as a deacon at Saint Sebastian Church in Woodside — allegedly conversed with an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old boy for months on the dating app Grindr before luring him to meet in person.

Vega, 50, began talking to the undercover officer — who told the deacon he was just 14 — on Grindr on July 22, 2020.

He used sexually-explicit language in their chats and sent the “teen” photos of his genitals on three separate occasions. He also asked the “teenage boy” to send him nude photos of himself and meet up with him in person for oral sex, according to the charges.

On Jan. 19, 2021, Vega again asked the “teen” to meet in person. He drove to a pre-arranged place with the expectation of oral sex, the charges state. When he flashed his car headlights, the “boy” got into the car and Vega asked him what sexual acts he enjoyed. The undercover officer then identified himself and arrested the deacon.

Vega, of 59th Drive, was arraigned at Queens Criminal Court Wednesday night on charges of attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, attempted criminal sexual act, attempted disseminating indecent material to a minor and attempted endangering the welfare of a child.

He is set to return to court on Jan. 25. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

Vega has worked as a deacon at Saint Sebastian Roman Catholic Church in Woodside since 2015, according to the church website.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn — which oversees Saint Sebastian Church — said it was disturbed by the charges.

“We are horrified by the arrest and charges against Rogelio Vega,” a spokesperson for the diocese said. “The Diocese of Brooklyn is committed to a Zero Tolerance Policy, as nothing is more important than the protection of children. Rogelio Vega has been immediately suspended.”

The spokesperson added that there has never been any complaints against Vega since he was ordained in May 2011.

Vega has a wife, four children and a grandson, according to his staff bio on the church site.

“This defendant by all outward appearances is a church-going family man,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Sadly, the real person under the sheep’s clothing is an alleged sexual predator who sought out a teenage boy to fulfill his needs.”

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34 Comments

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Cristina Prouty

Predators often disguise themselves in high positions of authority to prey on the weak or others in not of such authority.

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Abolish the Catholic church

Does anyone remember what Lorena Bobbitt did to her husband? This creep should suffer the same thing.

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John

Well done NYPD.

Hope the Attorney General and courts do their part and convict and jail this guy.

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Jack

I wish i could say i was surprised and shocked. I went to a Catholic school in NYC an can say from my experience that homosexual energy was prevalent for members of the cloth. Years later yes there were allegations, and some substantiated.

This however is especially criminal, being Deacon Vega was around children and adolescents, in a moral and spiritual authority. Also sadly this is not a deviant behavior that one picks up suddenly.

I feel especially sad for his family, they are also very much victims of this situation as well.

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Gardens Watcher

He has a wife and four children. So seems like he had proven his “straight energy.” He is a sexual predator who tried to prey on a child. That is criminal behavior.

What you call “Homosexual energy” is not the equivalent.

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I've known gay people who were married with children.

It isn’t necessarily a “born knowing” thing.

(What decade is this?)

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Brainwashing works

“Homosexual energy “, especially criminal”?!? Pedophiles are both heterosexual and homosexual. All those female teachers you read about who fool around with students are pedophiles too. Is this “especially criminal” because the perpetrator is homosexual? If the child or perp were female, the crime would be “less” criminal?

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ABoondy

its too bad there are no orthodox christian schools in that same number. orthodox priests are allowed to be married and have children. why? oh i dont know, probably because its a normal human condition and reduces mental illness that the catholic priests clearly have.

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Mac

ABoondy- That reading impairment strikes again. But your comment does have merit. All the best!

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Mac...bro. you responded to Giorgio.

Still, peeps don’t seem to know the difference between deacons and priests.

Doesn’t matter. Sin and breaking the law is sin and breaking the law just the same.

Anonymous

nuns were no better either they had two (2) in Mater Christi years ago and that is the truth and it was in the papers too –

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Paula Wilson

I can believe that happened I leave in God hands to judge him . No child deserves a sexual offender to damas the mind of an innocent child .

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Mike

YOU’D THINK WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING ACROSS THE WORLD… THAT THESE SICKOS WOULD CRAWL BACK INTO THEIR DEEP HOLES AND LAY LOW, BUT NOOOOOOO!!! NEVER A DAY OFF !!??!! WE’LL KEEP THAT IN MIND THE NEXT TIME ONE OF THESE PLACES CLOSES OR ARE ASKING FOR DONATIONS!!!

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Cristina Prouty

This is true ! The Catholic Church is well known for many decades to circulate these perverts ! They send them to other states with clean records to do it all again. The Catholic Church also has been known to pay big money as hush money to some kids and their family members to keep away bad press. I say we make the catholic religion is worst than Michael Jackson. Got swept under the rug , money buys affluence including affecting innocent lives.

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Claire

What else is new with these establishments and the ones running them…Watch your kids closely especially during the pandemic! A lot of these places have a higher percentage of people and families visiting them for free food.

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Joy

Behind each priest there is a demon fighting for his fall. If we have the language to criticize them. We must have twice as much to pray for them.

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Trish

Like my moms says “not going to church doesn’t make u a bad person and going to church doesn’t make u a good person “

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Dante Alighieri

What I think should be done to pedophiles can’t be published on a family-friendly website such as SP.

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