KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A judge in Missouri Thursday convicted Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn of failing to report suspected child abuse by clergy but acquitted him on a second charge.
Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence gave Finn a suspended sentence of two years of unsupervised probation, The Kansas City Star reported.
Following the bishop's conviction, prosecutors dropped their case against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
The verdict came one day after it was reported Finn and the diocese had agreed to a bench trial. Minutes into Thursday's proceedings, Torrence severed the cases. The diocese was also to have been tried Thursday.
Finn can have his record expunged if he gets through the probation period without further incident, the newspaper said.
Finn -- the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic official convicted in the church's long-running clergy sexual abuse scandal -- could have been sentenced to a year in jail and fined $1,000 on each of two charges against him.
"I truly regret and am sorry for the hurt these events caused," Finn told the judge before his trial began. "The protection of children is paramount and sexual abuse of any kind will not be tolerated."
The decision to hold a bench trial, which was made public Wednesday in a court filing, avoided a lengthy jury trial that was scheduled to begin this month.
Finn and the diocese each faced two misdemeanor counts of failing to report suspicions of child abuse after a diocesan vendor found child pornography on the Rev. Shawn Ratigan's laptop computer in December 2010.
|Additional U.S. News Stories|
PARIS, June 18 (UPI) --MBDA's Meteor air-to-air missile is to be integrated onto Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, complementing missile systems already used by the aircraft.