Charges on Bishop Finn Split into Two Time Periods

The Examiner
May 7, 2012

Kansas City, MO Misdemeanor charges against Bishop Robert W. Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have been split into two different periods.

The motion to amend the misdemeanor charges pending against the metro area's top Catholic official and the diocese was filed late Friday, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Monday.

If granted, Finn and the diocese would each face two misdemeanor counts, according to the prosecutor's office.

If granted, the first new charge specifies the period of Dec. 17, 2010, to Feb. 10, 2011, while the second specifies Feb. 11, 2011, to May 18, 2011.

In October, a Jackson County grand jury indicted Finn and the Diocese on one count each of failing to report suspected child abuse. The incidents covered in that charge ranged from December 2010 to May 2011 and were in connection to Father Shawn Ratigan, who faces a 13-count federal indictment, three state charges and a civil lawsuit involving child pornography. Finn's indictment was the first time in the nation that a Catholic bishop will face criminal prosecution in a child sexual abuse case.

"This simply divides the original charge into two separate counts," Baker said in the release. "This is the best approach going into trial."

The trial is set for Sept. 24.

Baker also said today that her office has filed a request for discovery, asking defendants in the failure-to-report cases for numerous church documents.


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