Youth league asks for leniency

Priscilla Bellcase is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from Florida's Big Sun Youth Soccer League during her term as treasurer. The league has asked a circuit judge that she be spared jail time for "humanity" reasons, but he argues that it would send the wrong message if she only gets probation.

According to the Star-Banner, Circuit Judge Hale Stancil says Bellcase, who is 41 and a single mother, will face no more than two years in prison if she enters an open plea to the court. The judge is not sympathetic to the pleas of Bellcase's attorney or Big Sun officials.

"You're talking about a substantial amount of money," Stancil told the parties Thursday. "If you can steal $50,000 and get probation, doesn't that send a message out it's no big deal?"

The trial date is set for the week of May 18.

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