Judge refuses to dismiss against KC Diocese and Bishop Robert Flynn
From the link: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/06/45378.htm
Diocese and Bishop Are Still on the Hook
By JOE HARRIS
Friday, April 6,2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – A Jackson County judge refused to dismiss misdemeanor charges accusing the Kansas City Diocese and its bishop of shielding an abusive priest.
Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are charged with failing to report suspected child abuse. Prosecutors said Finn and the diocese are mandatory reporters of abuse under state law.
Defense attorneys claimed the law is unconstitutionally vague, and that Finn was not the diocese’s designated reporter. Finn is the highest-ranking U.S. Roman Catholic official criminally charged for shielding an abusive priest, The Associated Press reported.
Finn has acknowledged that he was told in December 2010 about hundreds of images of small children, some of them pornographic, on the computer of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, and that a parish principal raised concerns about Ratigan’s behavior around children as early as May 2010.
But the diocese failed to turn over a disk containing the photos to local police until May 2011, after the church received reports that Ratigan had violated orders to stay away from children, according to the AP.
Finn and the diocese were charged with failing to report suspected child abuse.
“This court finds and concludes that persons of ordinary intelligence have no difficulty understanding the meaning of ‘immediately report,'” Circuit Judge John Torrence wrote.
Torrence also denied a request from attorneys for Finn and the diocese to have the cases tried separately, granted two defense motions to quash subpoenas and one to extend the deadlines before the trial, which is set for Sept. 24.
Finn has claimed that Vicar General Robert Murphy and a diocese review board were responsible for reporting suspected images of child pornography to the state. Prosecutors claim Finn was a mandatory reporter and admitted as much before a grand jury.
Ratigan is in jail, charged with three state child pornography counts and 13 federal counts of producing, possessing and attempting to produce child porn. He has pleaded not guilty.
Posted on April 6, 2012, in Bishop Robert Finn, Catholic League, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Kansas City diocese, KC diocese, Pope Benedict, Pope Benedict XVI, Ratzinger, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse, Vatican, William A Donohue and tagged child, child abuse, child molestation, child molesters, child rape, child rapists, child sex, child sex abuse, child sexual abuse, children, crimes against children, Kansas City Diocese, pedophile, pedophile priests, pedophille, pedophilles, pope benedict, pope benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, priest pedophile, priest pedophilles, rape priest pedophiles, Rev Shawn Ratigan, roman catholic church, roman catholic church sex scandal, roman catholics, sexual assault of a child, sexual battery of a child, Shawn Ratigan, St Thomas More, St Thomas More Durham NH, St Thomas More Parish. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.