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Priest Faces Federal Child Porn Charges

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 10 (UPI) — A Roman Catholic priest in Missouri has been indicted on federal child pornography charges.

The indictment handed up Tuesday charges the Rev. Shawn Francis Ratigan still took sexually suggestive photographs months after church officials removed him from a parish position and ordered him to stay away from children, The Kansas City Star reported. At the time, Easter Sunday this year, officials had not yet reported Ratigan to police.

Ratigan also faces state charges.

“When a person who has been placed in a position of trust exploits and victimizes children, he victimizes the entire community,” U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said. “The indictment today sends a strong message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

Ratigan was ordained in 2004. The indictment charges that a year later he took lewd photographs of a 6-year-old girl at St. Joseph Church in Easton, Mo.

Late last year, Ratigan was removed from parish work and transferred to the Vincentian Mission House in Independence, Mo. but his alleged activities were not reported to police until May. The official in the Kansas City diocese in charge of dealing with allegations of clerical abuse was removed in June largely because of his handling of the case.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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