Priest charged with stealing repays money, told to go home

SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) – A Roman Catholic priest charged with stealing more than $30,000 from the Connecticut church where he served as pastor will have his criminal record wiped clean if he returns to his native Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A judge has approved the Rev. Honore (AH’-nor-ay) Kombo’s request for accelerated rehabilitation, a form of probation under which a defendant can have criminal charges dismissed if they comply with all terms.

The New Haven Register reports that the judge approved the deal because the 50-year-old Kombo has already repaid the money to St. Augustine’s parish in Seymour.

Kombo said he took the money to provide loans and help people in Africa. He was charged with first-degree larceny.

The Archdiocese of Hartford placed him on administrative leave in July 2015 when police began investigating.