Melanie Turner reports for the Modesto Bee that a Ripon pastor accused of selling his congregation’s church — and the church-owned house where he lived — pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the Manteca branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court.
Rev. Randy Radic’s attorney, Michael Babitzke of Stockton, entered the plea on his client’s behalf. Radic was silent and attentive, wearing a countyissued orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles. Babitzke said afterward that he would not comment on the case until the investigation is complete.
Also Tuesday, Judge Linda Lofthus granted a motion by Chief Deputy District Attorney Patrick O’Hern giving the prosecution the right to examine the source of money should someone try to post bail on Radic’s behalf. Bail remains at $1.5 million. O’Hern said afterward that such a motion is not uncommon in cases such as this, in which law enforcement has not recovered all the money. Officials want to be sure any potential bail money doesn’t come from an illegitimate source, he said.