Michigan priest sentenced in charity theft

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DETROIT (AP) — A judge sentenced a Detroit-area Catholic priest Monday to two months in jail each calendar year for the next five years for stealing money from a charity for the poor.

The Rev. Timothy Kane, 58, will be jailed only during the months of December and June, according to Wayne County Circuit Judge Bruce Morrow's sentence. Kane must serve an additional two months that will be determined by probation officials, for a total sentence of one year in jail.

Prosecutors aren't thrilled with the length of time given by Morrow. Sentencing guidelines called for three years to five years in jail, assistant prosecutor Maria Miller said.

"This is a most unusual sentence that is below the defendant's guidelines," Miller said. "It is especially troubling considering that he was convicted as charged of multiple counts of stealing money from the poor. We will be determining whether we will appeal the case in the next several days."

A jury found Kane guilty in October of crimes including embezzlement of between $1,000 and $20,000 from the Angel Fund, an Archdiocese of Detroit charity created to help people in need. He denied the charges and said he wrongly signed a confession to police.

Before being sentenced, Kane told Morrow that he was in debt and got "pulled into something without knowing what was going on."

"My finances are an open book," he said. "I've never been enriched by any scam."

Kane was offered a plea deal before the trial but declined.

Kane also was sentenced to five years' probation and restitution of $131,400. He was ordered to report Tuesday to the Wayne County Jail.

A woman who authorities say conspired with Kane was sentenced in October to five years of probation and a $5,000 fine. She pleaded no contest to charges including embezzlement and conspiracy.

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