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August 19, 2011

Feds seeking LWOP sentence for priest involved with kiddie porn

This new Kansas City Star article, which is headlined "Federal prosecutors want life sentence for priest in child pornography case," reports on a notable child porn case involving notable defendant.  Here are the details:

A Catholic priest accused of producing child pornography should receive life in prison if convicted, federal prosecutors declared Thursday.  Prosecutors disclosed their sentencing goals in a motion asking that the Rev. Shawn Ratigan remain in jail pending trial.  They filed the paperwork just minutes before Ratigan’s first federal court appearance on 13 counts of production, attempted production and possession of child pornography.

John P. O’Connor, Ratigan’s lawyer, entered not guilty pleas to all the federal charges on his client’s behalf.  The priest, dressed in black jail scrubs and still sporting a bushy, full beard, did not speak during his brief appearance.

Because Ratigan has not been able to make bond on three Clay County counts of possessing child pornography, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah W. Hays said she would defer ruling on the federal detention motion unless it became necessary.

The court filings also disclosed new information about how leaders of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph responded when they learned that troubling photographs had been discovered on Ratigan’s computer.  The priest had given that computer to a technician for repair in December.

Ratigan allegedly lied to his supervisors when they asked if he had taken the pictures, court records said.  In addition to various “upskirt” and “crotch” photographs, the supervisors asked Ratigan about a “close-up vaginal” photograph found on his computer, court records said. Other court records have described that picture as a girl lying down with her panties pulled aside.

Church officials have not described their initial discussions with Ratigan about the photographs, but have suggested that they weren’t certain that the pictures constituted child pornography.  In a statement on May 20, just after Ratigan was arrested on the state charges, Bishop Robert Finn said that he had learned in December about “images of an unclothed child who was not identifiable because her face was not visible.”

The diocese soon described the images to a Kansas City police officer and showed them to a lawyer, Finn said.  Both said the images were troubling, but were not child porn because they did not show “sexual conduct or contact,” according to Finn.

Federal prosecutors later concluded that the image that Ratigan denied taking was pornographic and charged him....

Immediately after church officials seized Ratigan’s computer, the priest attempted suicide, received psychiatric care and was assigned to live in an Independence mission house.

Prosecutors disclosed Thursday that in addition to accessing Facebook from a computer in a common area of the house, Ratigan also purchased a computer, which he used in his apartment for about 10 days before his arrest.  Images of a 12-year-old girl found on that computer, taken on Easter Sunday, April 24, formed the basis of a charge against Ratigan of attempted production of child pornography.

August 19, 2011 at 02:41 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Feds want a life sentence to keep yet another pedophile priest off the streets and away from children so children would be protected.

Bishop Finn protected the pedophile priest.

Now you know everything you need to know about the Catholic church.

Posted by: Patrick OMalley | Aug 19, 2011 3:38:22 PM

Patrick OMalley --

Assuming, as I do for present purposes, that the charges are well grounded, it is nonetheless inaccuarate and wildly unfair to say that this creep tells us "all we need to know about the Catholic church."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 19, 2011 4:21:20 PM

Its not as if the Catholic church has never covered up sexual abuse by a priest before.

Was the definition of child pornography changed to include “upskirt,” “crotch” and “close-up vaginal” photographs?

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 110 > § 2256

(8) “child pornography” means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where—
(A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(B) such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
(C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Posted by: Huh? | Aug 19, 2011 5:18:19 PM

Any family with a bathtub hijinks picture of a three year old child should find them and burn them. Or, else risk getting charged as producers of child porn by the gotcha feminist lawyer and its male running dogs to generate massive lawyer employment.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 19, 2011 8:04:37 PM

Actually, Patrick, studies of sexual abuse, the most recent conducted by John Jay College, determined that sex abuse by priests has been less prevalent than by Protestant Minsters, Boy Scout leaders, teachers, daycare providers, etc., than Catholic priests. In fact, they have committed such acts much less than the national norm. The most common perpetrator is actually non-genetic parents (steps, live in boyfriends, etc).

As far as covering up such action, it is true that they fell into the progressive "treatment not punishment" paradigm of the late 20th century. However, there is no other organization that currently has a more of a transparent zero tolerance policy than the RCC.

Unfortunately, it appears your motive is far different than truth. There is no evidence in the article that the bishop "protected" the priest. In fact, it appears his office contacted the KC police.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 19, 2011 8:06:59 PM

Huh stated: "Was the definition of child pornography changed to include “upskirt,” “crotch” and “close-up vaginal” photographs?"

It seems like your question should be directed to the attorney and KC police officer that they notified, not the RCC.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 19, 2011 8:11:03 PM

TarlsQtr --

Can you even imagine the outrage if, after a Muslim set off some terrorist bomb, a commenter here said, "Now you know everything you need to know about Islam."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 19, 2011 8:49:59 PM

Bill,

These people really see bigotry as ammoral. It all depends on the subject of the bigotry.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 19, 2011 9:38:30 PM

"Now you know everything you need to know about Islam."

Well, that's true after terrorist attacks because it shows their true colors. Islams are an extremest bunch. The minority wants peace; the most of them are violent against anyone who disagrees with them. That's all you need to know about Islam.

Posted by: Edward | Aug 20, 2011 1:55:56 AM

Free defense tactic from the Supremacy:

Subpoena all family albums of the prosecutors, the judge. Deliver and carry out subpoena by surprise, to prevent cleansing of shots of spread legs, early breast growth showing through a shirt, provocative poses even if meant in fun. Do so in the middle of the night, with police cars with flashing lights in front of the house, just in case the subject of the subpoena gets rough. If that happens, Taser the bro.

Report all such pictures to the FBI for investigation of the production of child pornography. Once one learns the name of the FBI agent assigned to investigate the family pictures of the judge and prosecutors? Get a subpoena for the family albums of the assigned FBI agent, especially if female.

The motion should be based on the doctrine of "those with filthy hands should not point fingers."

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 20, 2011 7:48:03 AM

SC - go right ahead and view this prosecutor's (or is it feminist lawyer's?) photo albums and home movies. I guarantee you won't find any movies or photos of child rape in there. Nope, nothing showing men forcing little girls to give them blow jobs. Nope, no movies of dressing up toddlers in bondage gear and violating them. That's the kind of filth that I prosecute, and your BS about "bathtub hijinks" pisses me off and detracts from the truth of child pornography.

Posted by: domino | Aug 20, 2011 8:48:39 AM

Most family pictures of their girl children don't include spread legs. Really. And there's a huge HUGE difference between a bathtub picture and a PRIEST taking pictures of a 12 year old with her legs spread ON EASTER. Many of the nude 'bath tub' pictures are of kids much younger than 12. How many families are still taking nude pictures of their 12 year old girls?

Posted by: Paul | Aug 20, 2011 9:33:00 AM

Domino: I support your efforts against producers of child porn. This case is about the following, which are reminiscent of bathtub hijinks:

"In addition to various “upskirt” and “crotch” photographs, the supervisors asked Ratigan about a “close-up vaginal” photograph found on his computer, court records said. Other court records have described that picture as a girl lying down with her panties pulled aside."

"Both said the images were troubling, but were not child porn because they did not show “sexual conduct or contact,” according to Finn."

" Images of a 12-year-old girl found on that computer, taken on Easter Sunday, April 24, formed the basis of a charge against Ratigan of attempted production of child pornography."

Meanwhile illegal alien gangs are beheading people who offended their pride, and you are doing nothing about them. There is a rebuttable presumption that you are a sinecure sitting, slow paper shuffling, by the book government worker, slowing everything down. Facts are the most persuasive of all. Tell me the facts of how you are not a male feminist running dog and a worthless government worker.


By pursuing downloaders as well as producers, you have to answer for these effects.

1) The legalization of child porn has been associated with a reduction in the reports of of the sexual abuse of real children, in several naturalistic experiments across several nations. The Draconian federal statute has resulted in increased reporting of child sexual abuse in the US, since enactment. This is not a coincidental, but a potentially causal relationship. The law itself has caused an increase in child sex abuse reports, in direct contradiction to the aims enumerated in its preface. Whatever the report rate, general population, scientific surveys consistently show 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused. You are doing nothing about that monster rate of victimization. What are you doing? The easy stuff. Sexting done by just about everyone now. Charging 20 year old males with 17 year old girlfriends having consensual sex because they are in love, with the approval of the girl's parents who love the boyfriend. Your ilk is prosecuting 10 year old boys peeing in an alley in an act of urinary relief, not a sex act. You are in total failure and a lazy abuser of the taxpayer. You prosecute soft, relatively harmless, ridiculous targets to make your work easier. You allow massive victimizations of a quarter of our little girls, and serial killers, illegal alien gangs to do as they please with no fear of ever being inconvenienced by a lazy do nothing government.

2) The prosecution of downloaders raises the price of child porn, making it more profitable for international criminal syndicates, presumably, terrorist organizations, as well, to produce child porn. Thus prohibition and prosecution increases the number of child victims, and funds undesirables in their other activities, detrimental to our national interest.

3) The prosecution of downloaders is a huge lawyer business now. It is a Trojan Horse for attacks on the productive male, on the patriarchal family, to defund organizations in competition for moral authority with the government, such as the church, Boy Scouts, and to generate lawyer rent seeking. The lack of honesty about the rent seeking aims makes the enterprise one in bad faith. Rent seeking is an euphemism for armed robbery. If you refuse to pay your taxes, a man with a gun will come and help you do so. The assets of productive people will then be transferred at the point of a gun to lawyer predators.

4) You fill a prison bed with a child porn downloader who is an ordinary person, you leave no room for the crazed serial child rapist/abducter/killer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 20, 2011 10:42:05 AM

Paul: Does your family album depict young girls at a birthday party running about in short shorts, wearing simple t-shirts with no bra, grabbing each other in a chase game, doing leaps with legs apart imitating a ballet jete move? How do those really differ from the pictures described above? They do not.

A feminist lawyer and her male running dogs may prosecute you. In any case, the album should be at least investigated by the FBI. If you ever transmitted such a picture to a proud grandmother's email, you have also violated the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

Beyond the over defining of child porn or even sex abuse, did you ever tell a child to stop acting like a fool, and to sit still? That is now called emotional abuse, and your family should be investigated for potential removal of the child for protection from abuse.

The feminist lawyer really wants to destroy your family to grow government.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 20, 2011 11:09:44 AM

It's not my job.

Please, do not say that if you are prosecutor. There are 20 million FBI Index felonies a year, which are all major crimes. Only 2 million prosecutions, most ending with a slap on the wrist, not even arduous therapy, or other correction.

The FBI Index does not include child sexual abuse. The cover up and lack of response by the lazy, worthless feminist government lawyer may not be 90% as it is with Index crimes. It may be 99% going unanswered by these worthless government workers, with worthless prosecutions of soft, easy targets for a show of virtue. By going after easy but harmless targets, they are not deterring horror movie grade sexual abuse of millions of children, including little boys, not just girls.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 20, 2011 11:28:05 AM

SC stated: "Does your family album depict young girls at a birthday party running about in short shorts, wearing simple t-shirts with no bra, grabbing each other in a chase game, doing leaps with legs apart imitating a ballet jete move? How do those really differ from the pictures described above? They do not."

Wow. Read the description again.

1. There is a big difference between a "jete move" and a "close up vaginal" picture of a girl lying down with her panties pulled aside.

2. He is a priest. These are not his kids. You may take pictures of "bathtub games" of your own kids, but not of your neighbors' kids or those of strangers.

3. Even if I accepted the ridiculous logic that a "jete" move or bathroom hijinks could innocently result in a "close up vaginal" picture, it would be deleted immediately and never make it into a photo album or the hard drive of my computer. Such pictures are innappropriate. In spite of your best attempts to show otherwise, these are not innocent pictures that a parent took of a child in a bathtub.

The man in question is a filthy, disgusting excuse for a man, not to mention priest.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 20, 2011 11:49:57 AM

One more point. The article states: "Immediately after church officials seized Ratigan’s computer, the priest attempted suicide, received psychiatric care and was assigned to live in an Independence mission house."

If I only had pictures of innocent bathroom hijinks or of a "jete" move, I would not be despondent enough to attempt suicide or see the need for psychiatric care. These are the actions of a guilty man who knew damn well he was guilty.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 20, 2011 11:56:23 AM

The LWOP parole is a bit much for a pic of a vagina, of an unknown girl that he did not harm directly, unless he posed her (article does not say). Even if he posed her, and she suffered mental trauma, the blameworthiness is less than that for murder or repeat violent offenses. The sentence is excessive, and seems to be part of a hidden agenda.

One suspect a pretextual use of the law. That is a bad faith effort to defund a competitor of the government for moral authority, the church. The pretext is a crime itself, and should be prosecuted if proven. However, the prosecutor and judge have granted themselves absolute immunity, unfairly, justifying violence against them, there being no legal recourse. Make the prosecutor and judge liable for a phony, fraudulent prosecution. Make them liable for their failure to protect the 1 in 4 girls that are sexually molested in this country, in discretion to not prosecute, falling outside professional standards. Then, I cannot complain about unfairness, utter failure, laziness, and low intelligence.

And all of us are one call by a hostile neighbor from a home invasion by extremist feminist child welfare officials, coming with armed sheriffs. They have far more power than the police. The police needs to show evidence of a crime to a judge for a search warrant, and probable cause for an arrest warrant before our home and taking people away against your will. These extremist, heartless, feminist officials need nothing, just a feeling they have, to enter the home against your will, to take away screaming children begging for their mothers. One also has to note the racist aspect of this feminist campaign. They have criminalized the Southern upbringing methods to which black folks still subscribe, even in the North. The feminist was always a foam at the mouth rabid racist from 150 years ago. Southern upbringing results in very mannerly children, and there is nothing wrong with it by international standards. The impact on minorities of this all out attack on the family is devastating, especially to minority kids.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 20, 2011 12:56:40 PM

@Supremacy re: understanding the harm of child abuse - and being in a position of power/trust, and using it to get a 12 year old to pose for vaginal close up pics is abuse.
Further, child abuse creates “sexually toxic beliefs”: they learn “sex is predatory; sex is narcissistic; sex is exploitative; sex is hurtful. The only thing you're good for is sex; all relationships are sexual.”
Memorandum and Order: United States v C.R., 09-CR-155. Available, http://sentencing.typepad.com/files/us-v-cr-eeinstein-sentencing_memorandum-final.pdf

See @TarlsQtr - I agree with the comments about the difference between wet-T shirt pics that families _might_ have and close up vagina shots. Spiritual fathers should have even less reason to be around nude or semi-nude girls that parents.

The sentence has less to do with govt shutting down a competitor than trying to nail someone who is far gone. The rest of the Church is celebrating the most holy day; they are contemplating and rejoicing in the miracle of Christ rising from the dead. The priest here is contemplating and rejoicing in....

Posted by: Paul | Aug 20, 2011 4:06:30 PM

@ TarlsQtr

"It seems like your question should be directed to the attorney and KC police officer that they notified, not the RCC."

Huh?

Posted by: Huh? | Aug 22, 2011 2:43:16 PM

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