US Bishop Charged in Alleged Pornography Cover Up

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 8:15 pm (UTC-5)
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A U.S. Catholic bishop has been charged in the long-running clergy sexual abuse scandal, making him the highest ranking Catholic official indicted in the scandal in the United States.

Prosecutors in Kansas City charged Bishop Robert Finn Friday with sheltering an abusive clergyman. They say the bishop became aware of child pornography images on the laptop computer of Reverend Shawn Ratigan last year but failed to notify authorities for many months.

Authorities say Finn had reasonable cause to suspect children had been abused after seeing the images.

Finn pleaded not guilty and issued a statement saying he would fight the charge with a “steady resolve and a vigorous defense.”

Before Finn was charged Friday, no U.S. Catholic bishop had been criminally charged with covering up such a crime.

The Catholic diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, which Finn led, was also charged with one count of failing to report suspected child abuse.