John Vigileos, Well-Known Tempe Attorney, Accused of Child Molesting (UPDATE)

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In 2006, police searched nationwide for a Queen Creek man accused of a machete attack on his estranged wife and her boyfriend. 

The manhunt ended within days after Chandler cops arrested 33-year-old Armando Lopez Jr., who was accused of assaulting the pair inside the woman's home in Magma Ranch, a Pinal County development.
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From hero to accused child molester

Lopez later was convicted of two counts of attempted murder and of residential burglary, and is serving a 42-year prison sentence.

The victims were injured in the surprise attack, but were released from a hospital within a short period of time.

Their names never were released publicly, but the scary situation has more than a touch of irony to it in light of more recent events.
The male victim was John Vigileos, a well-known Tempe criminal-defense attorney currently being held without bond in a county jail after his recent arrest by Gilbert police for allegedly sexually molesting his 12-year-old stepdaughter.

(Link here to our earlier blog post on this disturbing case, published last week. Court records suggest that the attorney confessed to police, some time after an alleged suicide attempt).

The female victim was his estranged wife -- the mother of the alleged molested victim.

And the little girl saw it all up close and very personal, according to an Arizona Court of Appeals decision that upheld Lopez's convictions, including Vigileos' apparent heroic efforts to stave off the mad attacker.

"On September 24 (2006), J. and R. (the man and the woman, respectively) returned to R's house from a weekend trip and put the children to bed," the appellate court wrote. "They locked the home's exterior doors, but left the door to the garage unlocked. Early the next morning, J. and R. heard a 'light knocking' on the master bedroom door, but attributed the knocking to R.'s dog.

"Approximately half an hour later, R. got up and went to her daughter's bedroom to awaken her for school. As her daughter opened her eyes she got 'a terrified look on her face' and said, 'Oh, no, Mommy! Daddy!'

"When R. turned, she saw Lopez standing behind her holding a machete, with which he then attacked her, hitting her in the back of the head. She fell to the floor, but Lopez continued to strike her with the machete, wounding her arms, hands and torso."

This is where John Vigileos became a hero, wresting the machete from Lopez after a fierce struggle during which he, too, was injured, but not nearly as seriously as he could have been.

Lopez fled from the home and took off in his car and eluded authorities for five days.

Vigileos and "R." later got married, and had a child of their own (the woman has three children, by three different fathers).

Sadly, this story doesn't have a lived-happily-ever-after narrative.

Instead, years after John Vigileos probably saved his future wife's life and probably his own (who knows about the children?), he finds himself charged with molesting the little girl who alerted her mother to the intruder.

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20 comments
Roberte1967
Roberte1967

Really, what amicable divorce? According to records filed at the Superior Court, which are public record; Mrs. Vigileos didn't file for divorce until the morning of April 23, 2012. (only hours following the alleged molestation).  The children are now traumatized again but she has found time now to file for divorce.  I guess better late than never. Since Mr. Vigileos adopted the other two children (or so it is said), he will now be financial respobsible for all three children. Lucky for her.

Momslittleboy2
Momslittleboy2

The mother and Mr. Vigileos had a very amicable divorce. They shared custody of the kids and John was baby sitting them when the alleged offense took place. John would have been one of the last people anyone would suspect of doing this. He was a good father and upstanding citizen. I'm blown away by this.

Native Guns
Native Guns

The trauma the little went through, may have a lasting effect on her. She'll eventually grow up to never harbor any trust for men. And in some rare cases, they end up falling in love with other women instead.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Sad stuff. I hope the kids get the emotional support and counseling to move on once this is all adjudicated. 

I expect a criminal defense attorney will now present a case where the guy was supposedly  mentally and emotionally damaged by the machete attack and was only seeking companionship from the girl he was supposed to be parenting.

Or, as a similar creep stated last week, "I do stupid shit when I'm drunk"... or whatever the current excuse for criminal behavior is going to be.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

That poor child.  What a intense short life she has lived. I wish her the best. She has  a lot to deal with and I hope her mother gets her the help she will need to handle it all.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Maybe Lopez was upset about some of the abuse his daughter was suffering at the hands of Vigileoto?

Roberte1967
Roberte1967

Really?  Obviously, the mother did not really know anything about Mr. Vigileos and neither did alot of other people.  You don't just start at the age of 45 molesting children.  I'm sure some bright "ethical" attorney will get his charges dropped or he will walk away no problem.  His practice, "John Vigileos....http://www.vigilaw.com/ is still alive and active as of last week, so I'm sure he will have plenty of money to pay an attorney. Little does the public realize, that as one of his clients they are probably contributing to his defense fund. 

Jeff
Jeff

  You need to get mental help yourself you old wrinkly used up  old smelly skank

Montessar1973
Montessar1973

First of all I feel extremely sorry for the poor child. However, if everyone knew the truth about Mrs. Vigileos/Mrs Lopez some of the event in her childrens lives could have been avoided. This woman has had three men in her life, who have seemed to always end up in some sort of instituation.  Maybe someone should start looking into her life a little more closely. if only the youngest child is theirs, why were the other children in Mr. Vigieos home, shouldn't they have been with her?  How do you share custody of step-children? 

evolvabit
evolvabit

I agree. You don't just develop a sexual desire for children, midlife. This is something that he'd been fighting since he met the little girl when he began dating her mom, who was nearly 20 years younger than John! He gave no indication to us that knew him on a very personal level that he subconsciously believed that the relationship he had with his step daughter was way more than a paternal one. As she matured, he believed it was destined to transpire.

Houseofjob
Houseofjob

Maybe she is a bad judge of men. Abusers know who to target.

Montessiar1973
Montessiar1973

A mental institution.  His parental rights were taken away at the request of Mrs.Lopez, when she was married to Mr. Lopez.  Mr. Lopez was certified by the State of Arizona to adopt the little girl.  However, this information was not brought out in Mr. Lopez trial.

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