An Irish nun has landed her in solitary confinement after admitting she blew close to one millions dollars of stolen money at a casino in New York casino. She managed to avoid a jail term and is instead being kept confined in her convent as punishment for her crime.
Sister Marie Thornton admitted to stealing the money from the college where she worked as a financial officer, pleading guilty to all charges brought upon her by Iona College of New Rochelle, New York. Somehow, through grace of God or otherwise, Judge Kimba Wood ruled that Sister Marie was already being suitably punished in her nunnery’s solitary confinement. In another amazing act of kindness, the sisters of St. Joseph (the order in which she serves) protected her from jail by refusing to press charges.
Every weekend for almost ten years Sister Marie drove to Atlantic City and gambled away money which did not belong to her, fraudulently siphoned from college credit cards. Prosecutors say she was losing between $2,000 to $5,000 every time she visited the casino.
Sanford Talkin, Sister Marie’s defense attorney claims that her criminal behavior was as a direct result of terrible abuse during childhood. “When Sister Susie was gambling, she was able to stop the suffering internally.” Talkin told the court. “Gambling gave her a feeling of freedom, a feeling it’s about her for a change. You’re not dealing with somebody who is trying to buy a diamond necklace.”
Now the Irish nun has been spared from a life of imprisonment and is instead holding herself voluntarily in solitary confinement within her Philadelphia-based convent. Some argue this is not enough, and that Sister Marie would not have been given this seemingly preferential treatment if she had not been a servant to God. Sister Susie herself disagrees, telling the court she was dreadfully sorry.
“I have labored over finding the right words because I want so desperately for you to know how sorry I am,” she emotionally continued “somehow the words don’t touch or convey the gut-wrenching sorrow that I feel all day, every day.”