Diocesan officials announced July 21 that Father Vincent Panepinto — who has been on administrative leave since March 2011 due to an abuse allegation — has been charged by the Rochester Police Department with third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony.
According to a July 19 felony complaint, Rochester police accused Father Panepinto, 69, of stealing about $10,000 from Our Lady of the Americas Church, 864 E. Main St., Rochester, between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2010. Our Lady of the Americas, which was formed from the 2008 merger of Corpus Christi, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Holy Redeemer/St. Francis Xavier churches, is one of several churches comprised by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish, where Father Panepinto most recently served as sacramental minister.
According to the felony complaint, Rochester Police Investigator Albert Iacutone noted that the charges were based on a police investigation and a deposition by Father Daniel Condon, chancellor for the Diocese of Rochester. The City of Rochester would not release a copy of the deposition to the Catholic Courier, stating that it contains confidential information in a law enforcement investigation.
Diocesan officials said in a July 21 statement that the diocese is cooperating fully in the police investigation, and declined further comment on the grand-larceny charge against Father Panepinto due to the possibility of judicial proceedings.
Father Panepinto was ordained to the priesthood in 1967. He served at several parishes in the cities of Rochester and Elmira; was a chaplain with the state Department of Corrections and at Our Lady of Mercy High School; and was spiritual director at Becket Hall.
He was placed on administrative leave earlier this year after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, dating back to the 1960s, was received by diocesan officials and found to be credible. He is not able to exercise public ministry.