(Photo: Screen Grab via News4)
A 68-year-old Catholic nun from New York who stole nearly $130,000 from the collection plates of two parishes to feed her gambling addiction was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Monday.
According to an Associated Press report, Sister Mary Anne Rapp, who pleaded guilty to grand larceny in Orleans County Court in April, was also ordered to repay the money she stole and perform 100 hours of community service.
The money, which was stolen from St. Mary's Church in Holley and St. Mark's Church in Kendall between 2006 and 2011, was discovered missing during an audit.
"Over the years, I'm sure she has helped a lot of people and a lot of causes, but you can't ignore the dishonesty that she was involved with," said Orleans County district attorney Joe Cardone in a Kare11 report.
"This involves her over a long period of time taking money from the collection plate from the church on a weekly basis. Lying to parishioners. Diverting checks that were payable to the church and also lying to the church and eventually investigators because she didn't admit this immediately," he noted.
"It's a lot of money and it's certainly understandable that she should receive some punishment for it," he said.
On Monday, provincial minister for the 133 members of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity Sister Edith Wyss, released a statement on Sister Rapp's situation.
"Despite the enormous support that Sister Mary Anne received from friends, parishioners and her religious community, her proactive approach to her recovery and her involvement in meaningful ministry, the judge determined that she deserved jail time," said Sister Wyss.
"We feel great empathy for the two church communities affected by her actions. Sister Mary Anne is a member of our community and we will continue to help and support her," she added.