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Judge approves $1.35M settlement in priest porn case

Nov. 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A Jackson County, Kan., judge approved a $1.35 million civil lawsuit filed against a Catholic priest convicted of producing child pornography.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by a minor girl and her parents against the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, the priest convicted in September on federal child pornography charges, Bishop Robert Finn and the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.

The diocese reached an agreement with the plaintiffs Oct. 2 and Jackson County Circuit Judge Kenneth Garrett III approved the settlement last week, The Kansas City Star reported Saturday.

The settlement was paid in full by insurance, the diocese said in a statement.

The diocese "reiterates its great sorrow for the harm and grief visited upon children and their families by the actions of Shawn Ratigan," the statement said.

Ratigan was sentenced Sept. 12 to 50 years in prison for producing hundreds of photographs of five underage girls. He pleaded guilty in 2012 to four counts of producing child pornography and one count of attempting to produce child pornography.

The pictures were taken by Ratigan while he was a priest in several local parishes.

The incidents led to multiple civil lawsuits against the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and criminal charges against Finn.

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