Two new suits filed against predator priest
He was convicted last year on child porn charges
In new approach, little-known Missouri law is used
It forbids surreptitious underwear pictures of anyone
Support group wants suspended clerics put in treatment centers
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- announce two new civil lawsuits against the KC Catholic diocese and a jailed priest who pled guilty last August to child pornography, and
-- repeat and expand its plea that the bishop put all child molesting KC cleric into treatment centers, instead of letting them live unsupervised among unsuspecting families
TODAY, Tuesday, May 21, at 2:30 p.m.
Outside the Kansas City Catholic diocese headquarters, 20 West 9th (corner of Baltimore) in downtown Kansas City, MO
Two - three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (www.SNAPnetwork.org) including a KC man who was abused by Fr. John Tulipana and was the first KC clergy sex abuse victim to ever speak publicly (back in 1994)
These two new civil lawsuits are believed to be the sixth and seventh civil lawsuit involving Fr. Shawn F. Ratigan, whose crimes led to the first-ever criminal prosecution of a US Catholic bishop on charges of failing to report suspected child sex crimes to law enforcement.
The suits are believed to be among only a handful to use a little-known and rarely-used 2007 Missouri state law that makes it illegal to take pictures of people with their underwear showing without their consent (regardless of t heir age). That’s because while Ratigan took many photos that were child porn, he took many more that SNAP says were “illegal, hurtful and inappropriate” but that didn't technically meet the legal definition of child porn. In both cases, SNAP maintains, families “were hurt and betrayed and deserve justice.”
Last week, the first of several civil suits against the diocese for Ratigan’s crimes settled for $600,000 on the eve or a trail before Judge Gary Fenner.
SNAP is urging “every single family that was hurt by Ratigan, in any way” to “come forward and get help.” The group believes that even though Ratigan is in prison and Bishop Robert Finn has been prosecuted, “it's possible that there are other Catholic employees who helped conceal Ratigan's crimes who might still be prosecuted” so “it's important that people with information about clergy sex crimes call police.”
Ratigan worked at parishes in three Missouri cities: St. Joseph (St. Mary’s parish), Easton (St. Joseph’s parish), and Kansas City (St. Patrick’s parish and St. Thomas More parish). He also worked at three church-run schools: one in St. Joseph (Bishop LeBlond High School) and two in Kansas City (St. Thomas More School and St. Patrick’s School/Early Childhood Center). At least twice, he took Missouri kids on church-sponsored trips to Guatemala.
Ratigan’s full work history (and his photo) can be found at: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/assign/Ratigan_Rev_Shawn_Francis.htm
CONTACT: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP director 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Abott Durocher 314 616 5054, firstname.lastname@example.org, Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director 314 862 7688, 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, Judy Jones 636 433 2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com