Robert W. Finn and the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of failure to report suspected child abuse by a priest, prosecutors said Friday in Missouri.
The class A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000 for Finn, 58, and a fine for the diocese, said Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker. Both pleaded not guilty Friday.
Read More: Bishop Robert W. Finn
The prosecution alleges that, between December 16 and May 11 of this year, Finn "had reasonable cause to suspect a child may be subjected to abuse" by Father Shawn Ratigan, a priest from Independence, Missouri, who was indicted in August on 13 counts related to child pornography. Finn "had reasonable cause to suspect a child may be subjected to abuse due to previous knowledge of concerns about Father Ratigan and children," Peters-Baker told reporters. That reasonable cause included the discovery of hundreds of photographs on the priest's laptop, "including a child's naked vagina, upskirt images and images focused on the crotch area and violations of restrictions that were placed on Father Ratigan."