Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New settlement brings Kansas City priest abuse cost to nearly $4M

Kansas City Business Journal
October 13, 2015

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has settled two more sexual abuse claims against former priest Shawn Ratigan. Ratigan, who was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 2013 for child pornography charges, has now cost the diocese nearly $4 million, The Kansas City Star reports.

Last week, the diocese finalized an out-of-court settlement worth $200,000 with a family who's two minor daughters were photographed by Ratigan.

The Star reports that previous lawsuits in 2013 and 2014 were settled for $1.35 million, $600,000, $1.275 million and $525,000. Another ongoing 2011 case is being appealed by plaintiffs.

In addition, a $10 million settlement reached in 2008 with 47 plaintiffs on other priest abuse charges had a stipulation that the diocese be forthcoming about other criminal behavior. In 2014, that settlement triggered a $1.1 million breach-of-contract award after Ratigan's abuse conviction.

Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to two years of probation on a misdemeanor charge of failing to report suspected child abuse, resigned in April. James V. Johnston Jr., the current bishop for the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese, will become the Kansas City diocese's seventh bishop on Nov. 4.

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