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News Brief

June 6, 2011ST. JOSEPH, MO |  By: Wayman

Priest Lawsuit

A St. Joseph family is suing a former priest there for taking sexually explicit photos of a 3 year old.

The defendant in the case is Shawn Ratigan, now living in the Kansas City area. He formerly spent about a year at St. Mary's Church in St. Joseph. Ratigan has been arrested after a computer technician allegedly found explicit images on the priest's computer and reported it to the diocese. But the lawsuit by the St. Joseph family says church officials were warned about suspicious behavior involving Ratigan and a 4 year old girl back around 2006. Then it says last May a principal at St. Patrick School in Kansas City also reported several incidents involving inappropriate involvement with children at the school. The lawsuit alleges bishop Robert Finn and the diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph concealed the reports to protect Ratigan, bishop Finn, and the diocese from scandal. The St. Joseph family filing the lawsuit is not identified to protect the alleged victim's identity.