She pleaded guilty to a single theft charge in connection with those purchases. If convicted at trial, Wallace faced three and half to seven years in state prison.
Wallace also faced theft charges in Lynn, Malden and Woburn, Mass., district courts, Harrington said. Many of those charges are still pending, she said.
Bloomenthal defended Wallace, asking that she be spared jail time. She said Wallace and her husband — who have children ages 7, 8 and 10 — were having a tough time paying his $13,000 in medical bills and could no longer afford their mortgage payments.
“What happened was times got really, really hard,” Bloomenthal said. “She was worried about being homeless — things just came crashing down on her.”
Bloomenthal said Wallace has a master’s degree and was a gifted teacher.
“She has had a good productive life all of her life,” the attorney said. “She will never teach again because of this.”
Delker agreed to Harrington’s recommendation that Wallace spend 60 days in jail, even though the judge said he thought the request was lenient.
As Wallace was being led off to jail, Bloomenthal said she wanted to appeal the sentence imposed as part of the plea agreement.
Delker refused, saying it was not allowed and telling Bloomenthal “you should not be practicing criminal law.”
Bloomenthal refused to comment as she and Wallace’s husband left the court. No one from the church or diocese was available for comment.