Prosecutors Seek Trial for Finn and Diocese
Jackson County prosecutors urged a judge Friday to allow a trial in the misdemeanor criminal case against Bishop Robert Finn and the local Catholic diocese.
They filed their pleadings in response to motions to dismiss that Finn’s lawyers filed last month.
The indictment, returned in October, alleges that Finn failed to report suspicions of child abuse against the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a priest in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, who is charged with possessing and producing child pornography.
In a motion filed in February, defense lawyers argued that the charge should be dismissed before trial because the bishop was not the legal “designated reporter” for the diocese, and thus had no legal duty to report such suspicions to state authorities. A response team headed by Vicar General Robert Murphy had that responsibility, defense lawyers argued.