Catholic Bishop’s Criminal Case Will Be A Bench Trial

In a surprising twist, the criminal case against Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will be a bench trial tomorrow. It is expected a verdict will be returned that same day with Judge John Torrence presiding. Bishop Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are charged with one misdemeanor count of failure to report suspected child abuse to the state.
Bishop Finn, through his legal counsel, has argued that he is not a mandated reporter under state law. The charges stem from the criminal case involving diocesan priest Fr. Shawn Ratigan who had images of child pornography on his computer. Church officials knew about the images but didn’t report them to law enforcement for six months.