It’s good to see high-ranking church officials beginning to be held to account for their role in covering up the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church.
Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn today became the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic official convicted during the church’s decades-long child sexual abuse scandal.
Following a short non-jury trial, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge John Torrence convicted Finn of one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspicions of child abuse but acquitted him on another count of failing to report.
Torrence sentenced Finn to two years of probation then suspended the sentence, meaning that if Finn completes the unsupervised probation without any new incidents happening, his criminal record will be expunged.
Finn had faced a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine on each charge. Prosecutors asked for two years of probation. Defense attorneys sought a suspended sentence.
Finn had faced a jury trial in about three weeks but agreed to a trial before just a judge, perhaps fearing harsher treatment at the hands of a jury. The news report gives the history of the case, which involves a priest in his diocese who has pleaded guilty to engaging in child pornography and is currently awaiting sentencing.