Priest pleads innocent to possessing child pornography

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty in Missouri to possessing child pornography.

Forty-five-year-old Shawn Francis Ratigan, of Kansas City, appeared in Clay County Circuit Court on Monday over a video hookup. He remains held on $200,000 bond in the county jail, where he has been since his arrest Thursday.

Ratigan is charged with three counts of possessing child porn, based on photos that authorities reported finding on computers he used. Prosecutors allege he photographed girls, sometimes under their skirts, in and around churches where he had worked in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The Kansas City Star reports that Ratigan’s lawyer, John P. O’Connor, declined to comment Monday. Ratigan’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 16.

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