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  1. #1
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    MO - Bishop Robert Finn for failure to report abuse by priest, Kansas City, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/us...by-priest.html

    October 14, 2011

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Roman Catholic bishop of Kansas City, Robert Finn, and the diocese he leads have been indicted by a county grand jury on a charge of failure to report suspected child abuse in the case of a priest who had been accused of taking lewd photographs of young girls.

    The indictment is the first ever of a Catholic bishop in the 25 years since the scandal over sexual abuse by priests first became public in the United States.

  2. #2
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    Bishop Finn avoids indictment by entering diversion program
    Bishop Robert Finn today avoided facing a criminal misdemeanor indictment in his handling of a priest facing child pornography charges by agreeing to enter into a diversion program with the Clay County prosecutor.

    Authorities have pledged not to prosecute Finn, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, if he lives up to the terms of a five-year diversion agreement.

    Clay County Prosecutor Daniel L. White also said that a grand jury indicted the Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan on three counts of possessing child pornography. The new indictment supersedes a state criminal complaint that charged Ratigan on May 19. Ratigan, 46, also faces a 13-count federal indictment of possessing, producing and attempting to produce child pornography. He remains in federal custody.
    ---
    more at kansascity.com link above

  3. #3
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    Major investigation into the lives of the alleged victims of Monsignor Thomas O’Brien, from the Kansas City Star:

    The altar boys’ secret
    Four young lives, innocence lost. One priest, later sent for treatment. Decades
    of silence and secrets. And finally, revelations as a 30-year mystery unravels.

    by Judy L. Thomas
    ---
    Monsignor backed the four altar boys up against the wall, shoulder to shoulder. Then he forced them to perform sexual acts on each other and on him.

    When it was over, just minutes before Mass was to begin, he issued a warning.

    “If you ever tell,” he said, his gruff voice booming in the long, narrow room, “you’ll be kicked out of the Catholic Church, your parents will disown you, and you’ll die and go to hell.”

    For 30 years, no one breathed a word.
    ---
    And then earlier this year, all of the vivid memories and the indignation were stirred up again when the local diocese came under fire in the wake of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan’s indictment on child pornography charges. Couzens realized that if he didn’t speak out, the story would never be told — and no one would truly understand what he says happened to him, Brian Teeman and Chuck Caffrey.
    ---
    major article, with pictures, at link above; first article of a three-day series

  4. #4
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    Do you think anyone from the church will EVER be indicted for covering up sexual abuse?

    Those poor kids.
    Any man's death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    Therefore, send not to know, for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.
    ~John Dunne


    #TeamCivilization

  5. #5
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    ‘I didn’t want to get yelled at. Love, Brian.’ (Kansas City Star)
    The Altar Boys’ Secret, Part 2 of 3: Memories are all that remain for Don and
    Rosemary Teeman of their son, Brian, an altar boy who committed suicide 28 years ago.

    An open box of shells lay on the bed.

    A shotgun was on the floor, Brian Teeman’s lifeless body next to it.

    His mother, just home from grocery shopping, saw her 14-year-old son through a doorway. Hysterical, she pushed Brian’s younger sister into a corner and ordered her not to move.

    Then she rushed into the master bedroom, standing over Brian, still dressed in the dark blue pants, blue button-down shirt and white Nike tennis shoes he’d worn to his Catholic high school.

    She spotted a green sticky note on the edge of the white bedspread. She picked it up, hands trembling, and recognized Brian’s handwriting.

    All it said was, “I didn’t want to get yelled at. Love, Brian.”

    It made no sense.
    ---
    much more of this harrowing tale at link above

  6. #6
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    I'm sitting here with cold chills just from reading this. Those poor families.

  7. #7
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    The altar boys' secret: No longer alone (Kansas City Star)
    After decades of despair, former altar boy comes forward to share stories of alleged
    abuse with dead youth’s family. At last, there are answers — and a new cause to work for.

    ---
    For those 28 years, Don Teeman told Couzens, they had no clue why Brian committed suicide. Eventually, Don just took the blame and decided it had to be something he did.

    But in the back of his mind, Don always wondered if something had happened to Brian at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in Independence, perhaps involving sports or bullying.

    Couzens recalls the emotional reaction of Don’s wife that July day:

    “Rosemary stood up and hugged him and just hovered over him and said, ‘Honey, I’m so sorry I blamed you all these years.’ ”
    ---
    When they finished, Couzens walked slowly to the grave, knelt and brushed a leaf off Brian’s stone.

    And then came the tears. Couzens sobbed so hard his body shook. Jackie put her arm around him, and before long, everyone was hugging and crying.

    “Brian doesn’t have a voice,” Couzens said, taking one last look at the grave. “I’ll be his voice.”
    lengthy conclusion to the series - the third of three parts - at link above

  8. #8
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    No words. Just tears here. Those poor, poor survivors and their families.

  9. #9
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    http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/crime/b...et-for-sept-24

    Bishop Robert Finn's trial date set for Sept. 24
    January 26, 2012

    "The trial date for Bishop Robert Finn and the Kansas City – St. Joseph Catholic Diocese has been set for this fall. Finn and the diocese were indicted last year, accused of not reporting allegations of child abuse. The case stems from child porn charges filed against a priest in the diocese, Father Shawn Ratigan. Finn, who was not present at the court hearing Thursday in which his trial date was set, has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him...."

    more at link


    And some commentary here:

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/1/30/81120/6980

  10. #10
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    No matter how you slice it, Finn is culpable!! Ignorance is NO excuse for breaking the law. The man is a bishop, for heaven's sake. He's a bright man. He's educated and experienced. He knows all too well what those photos were all about. If he honestly didn't....he certainly should have.

    Shame on the Bishop!!


    http://www.kmbc.com/r/30659336/detail.html

    Mo. Prosecutor Want Bishop's Case To Go To Trial
    March 12, 2012


    "Jackson County's prosecutor wants a jury to decide whether a Kansas City bishop was required by Missouri law to tell police about suspected child pornography found on a priest's laptop computer. Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph were charged in October with failing to report suspicions of child abuse against the Rev. Shawn Ratigan after a diocese computer technician found disturbing photos on the priest's computer, including a series of a young girl with her genitals showing..."

    and

    "....The Kansas City Star reported Finn's lawyers were seeking to have the misdemeanor charges against Finn dismissed because the bishop isn't the diocese's designated reporter of child abuse, thus had no legal duty to report..."

    More at link (plus some interesting comments)


  11. #11
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    Whine, whine, whine. No matter how you slice it, Finn is culpable!! Ignorance is NO excuse for breaking the law. The man is a bishop, for heaven's sake. He's a bright man. He's educated and experienced. He knows all too well what those photos were all about. If he honestly didn't....he certainly should have. Didn't have training.....my bunnies!!

    Shame on Bishop Finn.


    http://www.kmbc.com/r/30659336/detail.html

    Mo. Prosecutor Want Bishop's Case To Go To Trial
    March 12, 2012


    "Jackson County's prosecutor wants a jury to decide whether a Kansas City bishop was required by Missouri law to tell police about suspected child pornography found on a priest's laptop computer. Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph were charged in October with failing to report suspicions of child abuse against the Rev. Shawn Ratigan after a diocese computer technician found disturbing photos on the priest's computer, including a series of a young girl with her genitals showing..."

    and

    "....The Kansas City Star reported Finn's lawyers were seeking to have the misdemeanor charges against Finn dismissed because the bishop isn't the diocese's designated reporter of child abuse, thus had no legal duty to report..."

    More at link (plus some interesting comments)

  12. #12
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    Yesterday it was announced the Finn would have a bench trial instead of a jury trial that would take place today. He was just found guilty of one count but was aquitted on another count.

    KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
    Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn was found guilty of failing to report an abusive priest to state authorities.

    A Jackson County judge acquitted him of a second, similar charge. The charges involved different time frames.

    Finn apologized for his actions in court following the judge's decision. He was placed on probation. The two years is supervised probation and includes eight conditions. Finn does not face jail time or a fine unless he violates the terms of his probation.

    http://www.kctv5.com/story/19467341/...udge-wednesday

  13. #13
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    Trial nears in priest sex abuse case filed by former altar boy (Kansas City Star)

    ---
    Jon David Couzens said in an interview that he looked forward to telling his story in court, even though he knew it would be painful.

    “I’m willing to be an open book, to have my life exposed — even some of my wrong choices — for the sake of saving just one child,” he said.

    Those who track the issue say that although thousands of civil suits have been filed in the U.S. alleging sexual abuse by priests, only a few dozen have gone to trial.
    ---
    the rest at link above

  14. #14
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    Report: Bishop Finn under investigation by the Vatican (KC Pitch)

    ---
    Jackson County prosecutors leveled criminal charges against Finn, a first for anyone in the Catholic hierarchy, for his role in deflecting an official investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by former priest Shawn Ratigan. Finn was found guilty in 2012 of a misdemeanor charge while Ratigan received a 50-year prison sentence for his crimes the following year.

    The convictions were the most visible among many embarrassments for the local Catholic diocese since Finn took over in 2005. They were also costly to the local diocese, with estimates for legal bills and settlements exceeding $5 million.
    ---
    more at link above



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