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Former priest’s convictions upheld

The Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed today the embezzlement convictions of former Louisa County priest Rodney Rodis.

A jury recommended that Rodis serve a total of 200 years on 10 embezzlement counts stemming from the theft of more than $200,000 from two parishes that he served. The trial judge suspended all but 13 years of the sentence.

Rodis had been sentenced previously to five years on federal counts of mail fraud and money laundering. He contended that the state’s statutory double jeopardy law, Virginia Code Sec. 19.2-294, barred the state prosecution.

The law generally bars prosecution in state court of offenses based on the same acts that resulted in federal convictions.

In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals found that the allegations in the federal charges and those in the state charges were based on different acts, even those acts were related and occurred over the same period of time.

By Alan Cooper

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