KC Diocese's $1.1M sex abuse judgment challenged - KCTV5

KC Diocese's $1.1M sex abuse judgment challenged

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Earlier this month a judge ordered the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph to pay $1.1 million to 42 victims of clergy sex crimes.

A Jackson County judge is hearing arguments Wednesday about whether the award should stand or be overturned.

The diocese is facing the penalty for not doing more to stop now-defrocked priest Shawn Ratigan from taking pornographic pictures of young parishioners after the diocese had pledged more than five years ago to prevent future abuse cases.

The diocese and Bishop Robert Finn, who has previously admitted in a criminal court that he failed to report child abuse by Ratigan to state authorities, are seeking to have the arbitrator's order nullified.

The diocese is appealing the judge's decision to pay up.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a prominent victim's group, hopes it is upheld and that it will push employers to be more responsible in child sex cases.

In 2008, 47 victims settled child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits against Finn and his diocese.

As part of the deal, they insisted that Finn commit to 19 "non-economic" child safety measures.

In October 2011, 44 of those victims formally charged that Finn broke many of those child safety measures by not reporting knowledge of child sex crimes promptly to authorities. The allegations involved that Finn and the diocese protected Ratigan and a second priest, Father James Tierney, according to SNAP.

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