KENDALL, N.Y. (WIVB) - Sister Mary Anne Rapp appeared in Town of Kendall Court to plead not guilty to a charge of second degree grand larceny Monday night.
The 67-year-old Sister of St. Francis is accused of stealing a total of $128,000 from St. Mark's Church in Kendall and St. Mary's Church in Holley between 2006 and 2011. After discrepancies were discovered last year, Sister Rapp was placed on administrative leave.
Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone said, "A lot of these were checks, so it was pretty easy to discover. The Diocese does a great job of auditing on a periodic basis and it was a result of that audit that this was discovered."
The Catholic nun is accused of stealing from the churches she served to support a habit of gambling at Seneca Niagara Casino.
Defense attorney James Harrington said, "Unfortunately, it's a situation that's applying to a lot of people...people who would never commit crimes, who would never go to casinos or other gambling places and start gambling, they get into trouble and it starts to spiral and that's what happens."
She is free on her own recognizance as her attorney attempts to arrange a plea agreement with the Orleans County District Attorney, one that he hopes will allow the nun to avoid jail time. But the DA insists she would have to make full restitution.
"Like anyone else, she needs to be held accountable for her actions," Cardone said.
The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says a tractor trailer crashed on Route 39, in the Town of Eagle.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
There is another Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from Thursday through early Friday.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
Viewers sent in photos from the snowfall around Western New York.
Four brothers were playing Thursday morning in Cattaraugus County, when an eight-year-old boy was struck by gunfire.