March 30, 2007
The 50-year-old former pastor of two Louisa churches accused of embezzling close to a $1 million dollars pleaded not guilty in court Friday.
Rodney Rodis is charged with 13 counts of embezzlement. He could face up to 20 years in prison on each count if convicted. After Rodis entered his plea several parishioners bowed their heads and let out heavy sighs.
Rodis' attorney outside the courtroom said the pleas not a pledge of innocence but more about assessing the proof.
“We’re still waiting for the evidence to come in and certainly by pleading guilty today we would not have had an opportunity to evaluate the complete evidence in deciding what is an appropriate posture to take,” said defense attorney Jack Maus citing the fact that six banks had failed to respond to subpoenas.
Rodis' bond was set at $25,000. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has said Rodis embezzled more than $600,000 from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bumpass and St. Jude Church in Mineral.
Rodis served as a pastor of the churches from 1993 until May 2006 when he retired.
His trial date is scheduled for October 1, 2007.