Sentencing postponed for Ripon pastor accused of selling church

MANTECA, Calif. – The sentencing for a Ripon pastor who pleaded guilty to selling the town’s oldest church without the congregation’s knowledge was postponed Thursday so lawyers could finish restitution discussions.

Randall Radic, 53, pleaded guilty in January to grand theft by embezzlement as part of a deal that likely will send him to jail for 16 months. Nine other felonies, including forgery and fraud, were dismissed.

His formal arraignment was pushed to April 10.

The district attorney and lawyers for Radic and First Congregational Church are sorting through the pastor’s belongings – including a new BMW – before the next hearing.

“He feels so much remorse for what he’s done,” said Radic’s attorney, Michael Babitzke.

Radic was the pastor at First Congregational Church in Ripon for about 10 years before parishioners found out he had forged papers to sell the church building to a Manteca couple for more than half a million dollars.

He also faked documents that gave him possession of the three-bedroom house he was staying in, which was owned by the church, then used the property to take out loans, authorities said.

Radic is in San Joaquin County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
AP, via, USA
Mar. 16, 2006
Olivia Munoz

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday March 18, 2006.
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