Judge confirms that KC diocese must pay $1.1 million in breach of contract case, Former teacher Charles Napier charged with child abuse
August 20, 2014 Comments Off on Judge confirms that KC diocese must pay $1.1 million in breach of contract case, Former teacher Charles Napier charged with child abuse
Judge confirms that KC diocese must pay $1.1 million in breach of contract case
By JUDY L. THOMAS The Kansas City Star 08/14/2014
The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese must pay the $1.1 million ordered by an arbitrator last spring for violating the terms of a 2008 settlement with priest sexual abuse victims, a judge has ruled.
Calling the award a “scathing indictment of the defendant,” Jackson County Circuit Judge Bryan Round said in his ruling that “there can be no doubt that the diocese, through its leadership and higher-level personnel, failed in numerous respects to abide by the terms” of the 2008 agreement. Those terms included immediately reporting any abuse or suspicion of abuse to law enforcement authorities — something the diocese failed to do in the child pornography case of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan in 2010….
The plaintiffs pointed to the diocese’s failure to immediately report Ratigan after finding hundreds of disturbing images of young girls on the priest’s laptop computer in late 2010. They contended that the diocese broke the 2008 agreement by failing for almost a year to report allegations and concerns about Ratigan‘s behavior to police, withholding evidence of possible child pornography from law enforcement for months and leaving another credibly accused priest in a parish for nearly two years.
A Jackson County judge in 2012 found Finn guilty of failing to report suspicions of child abuse to police or state child welfare authorities in the Ratigan case. Finn was sentenced to two years of probation for the misdemeanor. Ratigan pleaded guilty to state and federal child pornography charges and is serving 50 years in prison.
In issuing the award, Hanover found that the diocese had breached five of 19 non-monetary terms of the 2008 agreement. He said he hoped “that I am dead wrong in my opinion that this diocese as presently constituted will not mend its ways.”….
In his ruling, Round rejected all of the diocese’s arguments and said the arbitrator’s findings could be best summarized by a passage from the award.
The diocese, the award said, “was and is constitutionally incapable of placing the preservation and protection of the clergy culture in a subordinate position to any other consideration, including the timely reporting to law enforcement of a priest involved in the use of diocesan children as pornography models.”
Former teacher Charles Napier charged with child abuse
19 August 2014
Charles Napier, 67, from Sherborne, Dorset, is accused of indecently assaulting 21 boys aged between eight and 13.
The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1968 and 1973.
Mr Napier, who is the half-brother of MP John Whittingdale, will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on 2 September….