A three to five year prison sentence was handed down on Tuesday for a man convicted of stealing money from a New Bedford church.

Gregg Miliote, Director of Communications for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, said that 35-year-old Radislaw Czerkawski pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with eight counts of larceny by check over $250.

Czerkawski told told officials with the Diocese of Fall River in 2012 that he wanted to become a priest.

Miliote says that since Czerkawski is a Polish national the Archdiocese decided to assign him to St. Lawrence Martyr Church, which has a large number of Polish congregants and a pastor who speaks Polish, so he could explore the seriousness of his calling to become a priest.

However, in April of 2012, a time he was living in the church owned residence, he stole checks and a signature stamp, and made out $4,500 worth of checks to himself.

Czerkawski has a previous conviction for embezzling money from an elderly woman in Norfolk County and was sentenced to a three to five year prison sentence in July.

Miliote says Tuesday's conviction allowed no credit for time served in prison since last July which means Czerkawski must serve the full three to five year prison sentence for the New Bedford conviction.

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