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Federal prosecutors seek 50-year sentence for priest who pleaded guilty to child porn charges

Federal prosecutors in Missouri are seeking a 50-year prison term for a Roman Catholic priest who admitted taking pornographic photos of children.

The Rev. Shawn Ratigan faces sentencing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. The 47-year-old priest pleaded guilty in August 2012 to five counts of producing or attempting to produce child porn — one count for each of five victims.

Ratigan was charged in May 2011 after police received a flash drive from his computer containing hundreds of images of children, most of them clothed, with the focus on their crotch areas.

Prosecutors say he photographed girls in and around churches where he worked in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. His case led to charges against Bishop Robert Finn for failing to report suspected child abuse.

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