Sister Mary Anne Rapp, 67, is accused of stealing $128,000 from the St. Mary Catholic Church in Holley and its sister church, St. Mark, in nearby Kendall. Rapp allegedly used the money to gamble at various New York casinos.
She pleaded not guilty to a second-degree grand larceny charge in court Monday night.
“She’s been a nun for a very long time, been a very good person, never in any trouble before,” Rapp’s attorney James Harrington said. “She did great work wherever she was assigned.”
The money was allegedly stolen between 2006 and 2010, and it was discovered to be missing after “some irregularities” were found during a routine audit.
“This was a situation where a new pastor came in and requested an audit by the Diocese audit committee,” said Terrence M. Connors, the lead attorney for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. “The audit turned up some irregularities, which we then reported to the Orleans County DA, so his staff could determine whether criminal charges were warranted.”
According to church officials, Rapp spent 9 1/2 months in an in-patient treatment program for gambling addiction and has been in recovery for the past year.