WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $230,000 from the parish where he served as pastor.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1rASyfn) that the Rev. Stephen Gemme was arraigned Wednesday on five counts of larceny by a common scheme over $250. The thefts from St. Bernadette in Northborough allegedly were to support a gambling habit.
Gemme was released on personal recognizance and returns to court Oct. 7. He was indicted last week.
The Worcester Diocese announced last October that Gemme had stolen from two accounts since 2008. Bishop Robert McManus said then that Gemme acknowledged a gambling problem and resigned. He was granted a medical leave of absence.
The bishop said parishioners should remember all the good Gemme has done. Gemme had been appointed to the parish in 2003.
Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com