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Bishop Indicted for Failure to Report Suspected Child Abuse

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Bishop Robert W. Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph have been indicted by a county grand jury. Each was charged with one misdemeanor count involving a priest accused of taking pornographic photographs of girls, some as recent as this year, the New York Times reports.

More than 10 years ago, American bishops pledged to report suspected priest sexual abusers to law enforcement, and Bishop Finn made the pledge three years ago as part of a $10 million settlement with Kansas City abuse victims. However, Bishop Finn acknowledged that he knew of photographs last December, but did not turn them over to the police until May. During that time, Rev. Shawn Ratigan continued to attend church events with children, and took lewd photographs of another young girl.

“This is huge for us,” said Michael Hunter, director of the Kansas City chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and a victim of sexual abuse by a priest. “It’s something that I personally have been waiting for years to see, some real accountability. We’re very pleased with the prosecuting attorney here to have the guts to do it.” The bishop signaled he would fight the charges with all his strength. He said in a statement: “We will meet these announcements with a steady resolve and a vigorous defense,” the New York Time reports.

If convicted Bishop Finn would face a possible fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to a year. The diocese faces a possible fine of up to $5,000. disclaimer: This article: Bishop Indicted for Failure to Report Suspected Child Abuse was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 8:09 pm at and is filed under Personal Injury Lawsuits.

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