Kansas City diocese ordered to hand over documents in sexual misconduct case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The first Catholic bishop criminally charged in the decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis will have to grant prosecutors access to a range of files regarding his diocese's response to previous accusations of clergy abuse, a county judge ordered Thursday.

According to the decision, Bishop Robert Finn and his Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese will have to turn over notes and other documents from a diocesan investigation into their handling of the case of diocesan priest Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who was arrested last year for possession of child pornography.

They will also have to grant prosecutors access to diocesan files regarding its handling of five other priests who had previously been accused of abuse.

Both Finn and the diocese face trial this September in Jackson County, Mo., over separate criminal misdemeanor charges of failure to report suspected child abuse concerning their actions in the Ratigan case.

News of the latest order from County Judge John Torrence comes almost a week after the first conviction of a diocesan administrator on a charge of child endangerment for his role in reassigning clergy accused of abuse in his archdiocese.

That conviction came Friday in the case of Msgr. William Lynn, who served as the Secretary for Clergy in the Philadelphia archdiocese from 1992 to 2...


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