Priest gets probation, ordered to repay $240K stolen from parish for gambling addiction


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WORCESTER, Massachusetts — A Roman Catholic priest has been placed on five years' probation and ordered to repay nearly $240,000 he stole from his former parish to cover a gambling addiction.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports ( the Rev. Stephen Gemme was sentenced after pleading guilty Wednesday to two counts of larceny.

Gemme told Judge Janet Kenton-Walker he is "deeply ashamed and sorry."

He was removed from his job at St. Bernadette Parish in Northborough in 2013 after the loss was discovered. Prosecutors said Gemme stole the money over a five-year period beginning in 2008, five years after he became pastor.

Gemme is on medical leave and undergoing treatment for problem gambling.

Several fellow priests and other supporters attended his sentencing.

Gemme's lawyer said he is a "devoted priest" who wants to repay the debt.

Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts),

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