MO - SNAP to Bishop: Stop denying child porn

Now that Fr. Ratigan has pled guilty to child porn, Bishop Finn should drop his legal maneuver claiming the photos are not child porn.

In late April, without fanfare or public notice, Finn and his lawyers filed a motion saying that the pictures Fr. Ratigan had stored on his computer were not child porn, despite the fact that they included close-up shots of the genitalia of young girls. According to Finn, these pictures did not meet the criteria for “obscenity,” and therefore were not porn.

It defies common sense and common decency for one of Finn’s priests to admit in court that he took child porn photos while Finn is in another court saying they’re not child porn.

Here’s why this is so awful.

First, this desperate and disingenuous move by the bishop rubs even more salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of the families of Fr. Ratigan's victims.

Second, this legal hairsplitting risks overturning or undermining Missouri's child porn law, potentially helping other sex offenders get away with their child sex crimes.

Here is precisely what Finn and lawyers say: “the photographs at issue are not child pornography.” (The actual document is on our website)
And they say “(The legal complaint against Bishop Finn) describes inappropriate or even disturbing photographs of Jane Doe 49. However, this is a distinction between inappropriate photographs and actual ‘child pornography.’” The allegations do not establish that the photographs were ‘child pornography’ or ‘obscenity.’”

We call on Finn to stop making this hurtful claim and withdraw his motion.

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