Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lawsuit accuses diocese, Bishop Finn and Shawn Ratigan of cover-up in child-porn case

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 1:17 PM

click to enlarge Bishop Finn is now facing a lawsuit.
  • Bishop Finn is now facing a lawsuit.

UPDATE: A few more details of the lawsuit (via the Star): The Rev. Shawn Ratigan allegedly took nude photos of the 7-year-old girl, whose parents are filing the lawsuit, and engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the girl from 2006 to 2010. Ratigan is accused of sharing the photos on the Internet.

Also in the lawsuit, an allegation that Bishop Robert Finn and the diocese hid a 2006 report of suspicious behavior by Ratigan with a 4-year-old girl in order to avoid scandal. If that's true, Finn has got to go.

Original Story:
If you were praying that the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese

and Bishop Robert Finn would get sued over failing to act on concerns over the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, your prayers have been answered.



A lawsuit against the diocese, Finn and Ratigan will be announced this afternoon, according to NBC Action News. The lawsuit is being filed by the parents of a 7-year-old girl, who say their daughter was one of Ratigan's victims, and they're accusing the diocese, Finn and Ratigan of engaging in a cover-up.

According to KSHB Channel 41:

The lawsuit comes from the parents of a 7-year-old girl. Lawyers, in a

release, said the girl is a victim. Those lawyers said Ratigan, while

working for a church in Easton, Missouri, took pictures of the girl when

she was 2- or 3-years-old. The suit alleges Ratigan and Bishop Robert

Finn, trying to avoid a church scandal, concealed sexually inappropriate

photos found on Ratigan's computer.


A couple of weeks ago, Ratigan was arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography. More specifically, Ratigan is accused of keeping up-skirt photos of young girls taken at the church and around the

school. The arrest came five

months after the diocese became aware that he kept images of children

on his computer -- and a year after Julie Hess, the principal at St.

Patrick School, warned the diocese in a five-page memo about teachers' and parents' concerns about Ratigan's "inappropriate behavior with children." (The Catholic Key Blog has shot down rumors that Hess' job may be in danger.)

Finn has since apologized for failing to act, which is too little, too late.


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