In 1st, Bishop Convicted of Shielding Pedophile

Kansas City's Robert Finn gets 2 years probation
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2012 2:03 AM CDT
Updated Sep 7, 2012 2:18 AM CDT
First Bishop Convicted of Shielding Pedophile
Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn told the court he's sorry.   (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Tammy Ljungblad, Pool)

The first bishop in the history of the cleric child sex abuse scandal in America has been convicted of shielding a pedophile priest. Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn was found guilty on one misdemeanor charge and not guilty on a second charge, for failing to report a priest who had taken hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls and was allowed to continue to attend church events with children, even though Finn knew of the photos. Finn was sentenced to only two years of court-supervised probation, though he faced a possible year in prison and a $1,000 fine. The conviction, however, is a "watershed moment" in the scandals, notes the New York Times.

Finn, 59, rose in court to say: "I truly regret and am sorry for the hurt that these events have caused.” The priest he's convicted of shielding has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, and is awaiting sentencing. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and other victims’ advocacy groups hailed the conviction of a bishop, but criticized the sentence as too lenient. "Only jail time would have made a real difference here,” says a SNAP statement. (More Robert W. Finn stories.)

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