Local Priest's Porn Charges
Stun Brother and Longtime Friend
NBC Action News
May 19, 2011
fr.-ratigan-family-reacts-to-child-porn-charges [with video]
[Click photos to zoom. Images at the right are stills from the
video version of this report.]
LIBERTY, Missouri - Child porn charges against a local priest stunned
|Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan (Photo courtesy
of KQ2 - St. Joseph)
Father Shawn F. Ratigan is far from heaven. He’s locked inside
the Clay County jail accused of storing child pornography on computers.
When approached for comment, his brother Patrick struggled to find
“I don’t know what’s going on yet,” Patrick
Ratigan said. “I’m heart-broken and I really don’t
want to discuss it at this time.”
Heather Edmonds knew Ratigan before he became a priest.
“It’s almost an outrage to me because I never knew
or saw anything like that about him ever,” Edmonds said.
Thirteen years ago, Edmonds’ parents were Ratigan’s
landlords [; he lived in this very house].
“He rode a motorcycle,” Edmonds said. “He was
a really nice guy. He really was a 'bible thumper' in a way. He
talked about God a lot.”
More than words, his faith led him to work at St. Patrick’s
Church , where officials never suspected wrongdoing. He was friendly
on Facebook. However, in December, Kansas City police said a repair
shop found images of underage girls on Ratigan’s computer.
Church officials were notified. The next day, Ratigan tried killing
himself, police said.
RELATED | Probable
Cause Statement for Ratigan [and charges]
“I heard he was sick,” Edmonds said.
She remembers Ratigan’s hospital stay, but didn’t know
many details until now. Still, she finds it hard to believe her
friend turned priest could commit such disturbing crimes.