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News Brief

May 20, 2011LIBERTY, MO |  By: AP

Priest Charged

A western Missouri priest formerly serving in St. JOseph is charged with 3 counts of possessing child pornography after authorities reported finding images on computers he used.

45-year-old Shawn Francis Ratigan was charged Thursday in Clay County. He was arrested Wednesday at a private home for priests in Independence and held on $200,000 bail. Court records do not list a defense attorney, and there's no phone listing for Shawn Ratigan. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph says in a statement it contacted law enforcement professionals after the images were discovered. It says Ratigan has had no parish assignments since January. According to court documents, a technician found some images in December on Ratigan's private laptop and gave it to church officials. Police say more images were found this week on a computer Ratigan used at a St. Joseph church.