Lawyer asks to delay priest's abuse trial

May 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 17 (UPI) -- The lawyer for a Kansas City, Mo., priest charged with producing child pornography asked a federal judge to postpone the trial until August.

The Rev. Shawn Ratigan is charged with 13 federal felony counts relating to the possession and production of child pornography, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported.

On Wednesday, Ratigan's lawyer, Robert Kuchar, asked a federal judge to delay the trial until Aug. 27, citing a need for more time to review the more than 1,000 pages of investigative material related to the case.

"In light of the additional discovery, counsel needs more time to conduct a complete investigation into the newly discovered material," Kuchar said in his petition to the judge.

Ratigan's trial is currently scheduled to begin in June.

If the delay is granted, Ratigan will stand trial within a month of his boss, Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, who is charged with misdemeanor failure to report suspicions of child abuse for a six-month delay in reporting Ratigan to authorities after church officials learned of lewd photographs on Ratigan's laptop.

Finn's trial is scheduled to open Sept. 24.

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