CHICAGO -- A Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing more than $300,000 from the collection plates of his Illinois parish to feed his gambling addiction is expected to plead guilty Thursday to theft, a charge that could earn him a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
The Rev. John F. Regan, 47, the former pastor of St. Walter parish, in Roselle, Ill., is expected to enter a blind plea to a single count of theft, his attorney, John Donahue, told DuPage Judge John Kinsella Tuesday.
A blind plea means no sentence has been agreed upon by the prosecutors and defense. Kinsella will sentence Regan at a future hearing. The crime of theft over $100,000 carries a four- to 15-year prison sentence, but a defendant is also eligible for probation.