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Former Hawley church treasurer sentenced for theft admits to using church money to pay women for sex

A Hawley, Minn., man was sentenced June 12 to 20 days on electronic home monitoring at his own expense for his earlier guilty plea to a theft charge of taking thousands of dollars from the church where he used to be treasurer.

As part of a plea agreement, Allan W. Fenske, 54, will also pay about $30,000 in restitution, of which he has already paid more than $13,000.

According to court documents filed in Clay County District Court:

Officials at Hawley United Methodist Church noticed money was missing in early 2015.

An audit revealed that Fenske, the church treasurer at the time who was in charge of collecting and depositing church offerings, had written checks directly to himself and to a Boy Scout troop in Hawley.

When questioned by investigators, Fenske said he began using church funds in 2011. He said some of the things he used the money for included paying for sex from women he met on Craigslist.

On Monday, prosecutor Michael Leeser told Judge Steven Cahill that he was OK with Fenske not doing jail time because Fenske was willing to pay much more in restitution than the state was able to prosecute him for given the statute of limitations.

Jane Milliken, pastor at Hawley United Methodist, told the judge that Fenske had confessed to the congregation and done other things to make amends that she said "has made us stronger as a church."

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