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Phony Catholic priest sentenced to jail in Los Angeles

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/22/16

From The Los Angeles Times:

A man who was convicted of posing as a Roman Catholic priest and selling bogus trips to see Pope Francis returned to court on Friday after investigators discovered that once out of jail, he resumed trying to pass himself off as a man of the cloth. Erwin Mena, the judge said, was back to doing the same thing he wasn’t supposed to be doing. Mena, 60, had been convicted in February of grand theft in connection with his scheme to sell fake trips to see the pontiff and he got out of jail in July. LAPD Det. Gary Guevara said he arrested Mena on Nov. 2 after confirming he posed as a priest at a church in the Arts District. With his arms shackled behind his back, Mena appeared Friday in a downtown courtroom and admitted to violating the terms of his probation. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Frederick N. Wapner castigated Mena for his dishonesty and sentenced him to 264 days in County Jail. The judge also imposed a special protective order that, upon his release, bars Mena from coming within 100 feet of an Archdiocese of Los Angeles facility. “You can’t go into a church and pretend you’re a priest,” Wapner told Mena, who was wearing black glasses and blue scrubs issued to jail inmates. “That’s what you got convicted for and when you got out, you did the same thing.”

Read on. 

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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