A sister formerly with the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from two Western New York parishes. Sister Mary Ann Rapp was arraigned on a second degree grand larceny charge in Kendall Town Court on Monday night.
Sister Rapp, 67, pleaded not guilty Monday night. She is accused of stealing about $128,000 from St Mark’s and St. Mary’s parishes in Orleans County over the course of about five years.
Rapp is a nun with the Sisters of St. Francis Order and has been for more than 50 years. She was employed as a pastoral assistant.
The money’s she’s accused of taking was discovered missing in early 2011, when a pastor noticed discrepancy during a routine audit. It was traced back to Rapp, who was fired from that position in April of 2012.
Both attorneys acknowledged that this is an unusual case.
“It’s an extremely unfortunate set of circum but like anyone else she needs to be held accountable for her actions,” said Joseph Cardone, Orleans County District Attorney.
“I was raised and educated by the nuns, and I’ve been a lawyer for 44 years, and I’ve never represented a nun yet on a criminal charge,” said James Harrington, defense attorney.
“This situation, we look at it as tough, we don’t understand it, and my personal conviction about her is – I still do, I think she’s a very up person,” said Jack Gillam, a St. Mark’s parishioner.
Rapp has been very cooperative with investigators but still faces 15 years in prison if convicted.