Prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed to a plea deal to settle criminal charges against Wendi Willette, the former Winslow woman charged with stealing nearly $20,000 from the Winslow High School Wrestling Booster Club last year.

The agreement, which spells out a plan for Willette to pay back the money, was to be presented to a Kennebec County Superior Court Wednesday. However, Willette’s attorney, Sherry Tash, was sick, according to Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties. The case will now be heard on Aug. 5.

Willette, 42, who now lives in Littleton, N.H., pleaded not guilty to three counts of theft in March. If convicted at trial, she could face up to 20 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.

Prosecutors say Willette was the club’s treasurer when she stole nearly $20,000 over three years, where she was treasurer. She was also charged with theft by unauthorize taking for stealing money from the China Girls Field Hockey Team, which she helped establish. That charge is part of the plea deal.

Maloney said restitution is a major element of the deal.

“The agreement is to pay back a big part of the money up front and then to pay the rest over a period of time,” she said. “For me, I wanted to make sure it put a big chunk of the money in their hands from the start so that it won’t affect the ability of the kids to play sports. That was a real focus for me.”

Maloney would not say whether any prison time is included in the agreement.

An additional charge made against Willette last month will be included in the deal.

On May 1, Willette was charged with violating a condition of release, by the Winslow Police Department.

Lt. Josh Veilleux said that when Willette came to the Winslow station on an unrelated matter, the address she gave officers did not match the address that she had previously given the court. Veilleux said Willette’s bail requires her to notify the court of any changes in her address. Veilleux said it is not unusual for a person to forget to notify the court in the event of a move.

In March, booster club officials said the group had undertaken an aggressive round of fundraising to ensure that the wrestling team wouldn’t miss opportunities to travel and compete in state and regional conferences.

In December 2003 and again in April 2004, Willette was convicted of negotiating a worthless instrument, a misdemeanor that typically describes passing bad checks, according to Maloney.

Willette has declined to comment on the case, which is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 5, according to a superior court staff member.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287 |

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Twitter: @hh_matt