Jury trial sought for disgraced ex-priest

LOUISA, Va. (AP) -- A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of federal charges of bilking two rural Virginia churches of hundreds of thousands of dollars will be tried in October on state charges.

Rodney Rodis entered pleas of not guilty Monday to 10 counts of embezzlement. An Oct. 29 trial date was scheduled in Louisa County, and the prosecutor is seeking a jury trial.

The 52-year-old former cleric is serving a 63-month term in federal prison in North Carolina. He has been transferred to a regional jail in Orange while he awaits trial.

Rodis was convicted in federal court in October of mail fraud and money laundering. He also was ordered to repay about $600,000.

Many former parishioners from St. Jude and Immaculate Conception Catholic churches were unhappy with the federal sentence.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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