Former church treasurer sentenced for theft

Julie R. Rinard, 48, of 132 Acme St., Marietta, appears in Washington County Common Pleas Court for sentencing Monday. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

MARIETTA — A Marietta woman who stole $26,000 from her church was sentenced to 90 days in jail Monday.

Julie R. Rinard, 48, of 132 Acme St., Marietta, was also ordered to pay $26,000 in restitution, with a judgment issued in that amount as well.

“If she doesn’t pay and the court finds out that she had the ability to pay she will go to prison,” Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings told members of the Wingett Run Church of Christ following sentencing. “And the judgment was issued so if she were to come into money later she would be required to pay what’s left back.”

Between November 2011 and 2016, Rinard stole $26,000 from her church while serving as its treasurer.

“They found it when they wanted to make a donation for flood relief in West Virginia when all of those floods were happening,” said Rings. “They found out there wasn’t money in the account.”

Rinard pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony, on Jan. 30.

She was ordered Monday to pay back the $26,000 in 20 months.

“If it’s not paid in that 20 months you’re going to prison,” Washington County Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi told Rinard. “If she violates community control or doesn’t make payments, (the) 18-month prison (maximum) sentence will be imposed. If you’re buying cigarettes or alcohol I can find you in violation.”

Seven members of the church were in the gallery during the sentencing. Though none made a statement in open court, Bob Sproat, the member who filed the complaint to law enforcement on behalf of the church, said to Rings he had his doubts the money will ever be repaid.

Before the sentence was imposed Kerenyi asked Rinard why she stole the funds.

“I was not in a good place and thought at that point it was my only option,” she replied.

“You were doing it for what, six years, then you lied to police officers,” Kerenyi responded.

“But I confessed in the same interview,” she interrupted.

When Kerenyi noted the 20-month timeline for restitution he asked how Rinard planned to make those payments, approximately $1,300 per month.

“I haven’t been employed for about six months, at this time I don’t have anything to pay it back,” said Rinard. “I lost my job when I was arrested and then my husband divorced me.”

COMMENTS