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KC priest to plead guilty in child porn case

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Rev. Shawn Ratigan guiltyA Kansas City priest accused of producing and possessing child pornography will plead guilty Thursday to at least some of the federal charges he faces, his attorney confirmed.

The Rev. Shawn Ratigan, 46, was charged last August with six counts of production of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and five counts of attempted production of child pornography.

He also faces three child pornography counts in Clay County, where he was charged in May 2011 after officials with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph turned over images taken from Ratigan’s computer to police.


Ratigan’s federal public defender, Bob Kuchar, on Wednesday told The Associated Press details of the priest’s plea were still being worked out and he could not comment until after Thursday’s hearing.

A technician working on the priest’s computer found hundreds of ‘‘troubling images’’ on the laptop in December 2010 and reported them to the diocese, which confronted Ratigan. The next day, Ratigan failed to show up for 8:30 a.m. Mass and was found in his garage, his motorcycle running and a suicide note nearby apologizing for any harm he had caused.

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