Former Rapid City priest gets nearly 8 years in theft case


RAPID CITY (AP) – A former Rapid City priest accused of possessing child pornography and having sexual contact with a minor has been sentenced to nearly eight years in federal prison in a separate theft case.

Marcin Garbacz was sentenced Monday to seven years and nine months in prison, following his conviction on 65 financial crimes related to stealing nearly $260,000 in cash donations from the diocese. His sentence includes more than $300,000 in restitution, to pay back three churches he victimized, as well the IRS.

Prosecutors said Garbacz spent the stolen money on expensive artwork and religious objects, a diamond ring, a grand piano, a Cadillac and other items.

At Monday's sentencing hearing, Garbacz, 42, apologized to parishioners, saying he unfairly harmed them when he was angry at the Diocese of Rapid City and the Catholic Church. Among other things, he said he was upset that church doctrine considers gay men like him “intrinsically disordered," the Rapid City Journal reported.

Garbacz won’t go directly to prison because he now faces the sexual misconduct charges, which were recently unsealed.

The new indictment charges Garbacz with “engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place” between June 21 and July 7, 2011, by traveling to another country and having sexual conduct with a boy under the age of 18. Court records show an FBI agent came across child pornography on one of Garbacz's thumb drives while investigating the the financial crimes.

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