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Aug. 3, 2012KANSAS CITY, MO
A Kansas City priest has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography counts in a case that led to misdemeanor criminal charges against his bishop and diocese.
The Rev. Shawn Ratigan on Thursday pleaded guilty to 5 counts of producing and attempting to produce child pornography. 8 other counts were dismissed. No sentencing date has been set, but guidelines indicate he'll spend at least 15 years in prison. In December 2010 a technician found "troubling images'' of children on Ratigan's laptop computer. The photos weren't turned over to police until May 2011, after Ratigan violated orders from Bishop Robert Finn to stay away from children. Finn and the diocese are charged in Jackson County with failing to report suspected child abuse to the state. Both have pleaded not guilty. Ratigon previously served from July 2005 to June 2009 as the parochial administrator for both the St. Mary Church in St. Joseph and the St. Joseph Mission in Easton, Missouri.