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50-year prison sentence for Missouri priest in landmark child-porn case

Catholic World News - September 13, 2013

A Missouri priest has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty in a notorious child-pornography case.

Father Shawn Ratigan was sentenced on September 12 in federal court. He had entered his guilty plea in August 2012, after being charged with five counts of child pornography.

The Ratigan case led to criminal charges against Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City, Missouri diocese. Prosecutors charged that the bishop violated the law by failing to inform police when the diocese found sexual images of children on the priest’s computer. Bishop Finn was found guilty in September 2012 after a bench trial. He thereby became the first American bishop to be found guilty of criminal conduct for failure to report sex-abuse charges.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Sep. 16, 2013 11:13 AM ET USA

    He got off too lightly. He took the pictures himself. The only thing missing from this story is an irate father who should have pounded this pornographer to a pulp.

  • Posted by: jlw5096959 - Sep. 15, 2013 12:06 PM ET USA

    I disagree with previous comments. Child porn is not some small unsavory salaciousness, a kid with his pants pulled down. It portrays children being displayed for sexual assault, or in the act of being assaulted. It does not matter if this convicted priest personally touched them or not: he was part of a "system of injustice" --- or rather say a "ring of hell" --- in which children are violated for entertainment. He should be in prison until the Lord calls him for his Particular Judgment.

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Sep. 14, 2013 7:13 AM ET USA

    50 years! Obviously a Catholic priest so he had to be thrown into jail to rot for the rest of his life. Ariel Castro got the same sentence! Did Fr Ratigan assault any of the girls he photographed? No, not according to the prosecution. Yet he was treated like another Castro, or a Dahmer. One law for the Catholics and another law for everyone else.

  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Sep. 13, 2013 8:53 PM ET USA

    Just amazing - and not condoning the porno crime of Ratigan - a man (teacher) is sentenced for 30 days in prison after raping underage girl, or woman who admitted killing her husband on a glacier walks free until a trial --- 50 years for a pornography??? which is available on any street corner??? DOJ index is all messed up!

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