Bishop Finn convicted on one charge of failure to report abuse
Bishop Robert Finn
Catholic News Service
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph was convicted Sept. 6 of one count of failing to report suspected child abuse and acquitted on another count in a brief bench trial.
Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence issued the verdict and quickly set and suspended a sentence of two years' probation. The charges carried a possible maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
In a courtroom statement following the verdict, Bishop Finn said he truly regretted and was sorry for the hurt the events caused.
Bishop Finn was indicted last October on the misdemeanor charges of failing to report suspected child abuse to state authorities.
The case began in December 2010, after a computer technician discovered child pornography on a computer used by Father Shawn Ratigan and turned it over to diocesan authorities.
Authorities were not notified until six months later, when a search of the priest's family home turned up images of child pornography. Father Ratigan pleaded guilty in August to five counts of producing child pornography. The Jackson County Circuit Court announced Sept. 5 that a bench, or nonjury, trial would be held the next day, rather than the Sept. 24 scheduled jury trial.
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph faced similar charges, but Torrence severed the cases Sept. 6 as Bishop Finn's trial began.