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Priest sentenced for stealing church money

JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) — A former Watertown priest has apologized to his congregation at his sentencing for stealing church money and defrauding parishioners.

The Rev. Thomas Marr said he hurt people “terribly, though totally unintentionally.”

The 66-year-old Marr was spared prison Tuesday after pleading guilty in December to theft in a business setting and theft by fraud. But he was ordered to serve at least six months in a county jail as part of a seven-year probation

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Marr also must pay restitution of more than $134,000 to 17 households, as well as restitution to his former church.

Marr led St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Watertown for 24 years. Prosecutors say Marr solicited money from parishioners by telling them he needed it for those in need. Instead he invested the money with a church member, who claimed the money would help release millions of dollars from Nigeria.

Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

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