Federal prosecutors announced Monday that they plan to introduce evidence of uncharged crimes and other “bad acts” at the trial of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan in August. Ratigan, 46, is charged with production and possession of child pornography while he was pastor of Catholic parishes in St. Joseph and the Northland.
Authorities arrested Ratigan in May 2011, five months after officials and staff at the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph found hundreds of lewd images of young girls on a laptop computer that the priest had sent for servicing.
In the ensuing furor of how church officials handled the discovery, authorities charged Bishop Robert Finn and the diocese in Jackson County each with a misdemeanor count of failure to report suspicions of child abuse. A trial on those counts is scheduled for September.
Federal prosecutors said in their filing Monday that they need to present evidence of uncharged conduct to prove whether Ratigan intended to produce child pornography, knew what he was doing and had motive, such as a desire “to indulge in and satisfy a sexual interest in female children.”
Among the evidence not previously disclosed is an image of Ratigan in his underwear allegedly taken at the home of one of his purported victims.
Prosecutors also want to present evidence that Ratigan purportedly disca...