Historic Abuse Case Filed: KC-area Bishop Named
4:46 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Kansas City-area bishop charged for not alerting police about porn

Reporting from KCUR's Dan Verbeck used in this report.

A state grand jury empanelled in Kansas City has  indicted the Bishop and the Catholic Diocese on charges of failing to report child abuse.  It is the first criminal indictment of a Catholic Bishop in the history of child abuse cases in the United States.

Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph  are accused of waiting five months to make  a  report after a priest, the Reverend Shawn Ratigan, was suspected of having questionable photos of young girls on his computer. The files were discovered when the priest’s laptop was sent for repairs and a technician notified the Diocese of what he’d found. Ratigan has since faced federal pornography charges. 

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker defined the misdemeanor charges against Bishop Finn and the  Diocese.

“I can assure you this has nothing, nothing to do with the Catholic faith," Peters Baker said. "This is about the facts of this case, nothing more. And this is about protecting children.”

Lawyers for Bishop Finn and the Diocese say they have entered not guilty pleas  for each.