Dismissal of bishop's charges sought

Feb. 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Attorneys for Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., are seeking the dismissal of a misdemeanor charge for failing to report suspected child abuse.

Finn is accused of failing to report the Rev. Shawn Ratigan for suspected child pornography. Finn's attorneys alleged he could not be prosecuted because he was not the designated reporter for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St.Joseph. Attorneys filed a total of four motions for the dismissal of the charges, each on different grounds.

The Kansas City Star reported Finn pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge Wednesday. If convicted, he could serve one year in jail and pay a $1,000 fine, while the diocese would be fined $5,000.

Missouri state law requires prompt reporting of suspicions of child abuse across several professions. Teachers, doctors and ministers are just a few of the professions required to report to the child abuse hot line.

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