Garbacz agrees to forfeit all but three items
What happens to the extravagant items purchased by a former Rapid City Catholic priest convicted of charges related to his stealing from church collections?
That was the question in a hearing Thursday for 41-year old Marcin Garbacz, who was convicted on Monday on 65 federal charges.
Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of a host of items ranging from chalices and other religious articles to artwork and more than $10,000 in cash.
In court Thursday Garbacz said he isn't contesting the forfeiture, with the exception of three items, two statues purchased for a total of more than $26,000 and a one carat diamond ring left behind at his apartment in Kent, Washington.
Garbacz testified that the statues were not purchased with any stolen money.
Instead, Garbacz says that money came from legitimate income, mass stipends, Christmas gifts, shifts as a substitute teacher and money given to him by his family.
Where the proceeds from the potential sale of his items would go is unclear.
District Judge Jeffrey Viken said Thursday that he sees no evidence that the Diocese of Rapid City is the victim in the case.
He says the victims are the hard working people who made donations to churches in the diocese.