Crime & Courts

Crystal Lake man sentenced to 66 days in jail for stealing from Woodstock church

Inset of Christopher C. Trimpe in front of Northwest Herald file photo of McHenry County courthouse.

A 61-year-old brother of Resurrection Catholic Church in Woodstock was sentenced Thursday to 66 days in jail and must pay back the more than $20,000 he stole from a church fund collected to help the needy.

Christopher C. Trimpe, of the 6000 block of Shenandoah Drive, Crystal Lake, was convicted of one count of theft after being charged with stealing $20,257.84 between Feb. 3, 2014, and Oct. 29, 2019, according to a criminal complaint filed in McHenry County.

Trimpe also must serve 24 months of probation and have no contact with the church or Pastor Steve Glab, McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt ordered.

Glab attended the sentencing hearing but declined to comment afterward.

Before his sentence was handed down, Trimpe stood and said he was “very sorry” and “ashamed” for hurting the church, the community and the outreach program he stole from.

He said there is no justification for his crime and that he alone is to blame.

“With the Lord’s grace, I will accomplish the work I need to do,” Trimpe said.

Trimpe said he was a brother of the church for almost 25 years. A religious brother is a member of a Roman Catholic religious order who commits himself to following Christ in consecrated life of the church by the vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience.

Trimpe acted as the business manager of the Woodstock parish until November 2019, Diocese of Rockford Communication Director Penny Wiegert said at the time of Trimpe’s arrest.

Trimpe’s defense attorney, David Franks, said his client has no criminal history, is considered a low risk for reoffending and took actions that did not harm anyone. He has a master’s degree in pastoral studies, has worked with special education students and seniors, and volunteered for toy drives and food pantries, Franks said.

“I know you will consider his charge [in sentencing], but consider what is in his heart today, as well,” Franks said, adding that Trimpe is “remorseful, greatly ashamed and greatly embarrassed.”

Wilbrandt said that as a brother of the church, Trimpe took certain vows that he violated. He is ordering Trimpe to pay $1,000 every three months toward his restitution and waived court fees so Trimpe can put that money toward restitution.