U.S. Bishop Finn Found Guilty On Criminal Charge

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, has been found guilty of failing to report evidence of sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese.

After a brief bench trial, Judge John Torrence pronounced the bishop guilty on one of two misdemeanor charges, acquitting him of the other charge. Bishop Finn thus becomes the first American bishop convicted of a criminal offense for mishandling sex-abuse complaints.

Judge Torrence sentenced Bishop Finn to two years of probation, suspending the sentence. If the bishop completes his probation, his conviction will be stricken from the record.

Before sentencing, Bishop Finn offered a simple apology for his role in the case. “I truly regret and am sorry for the hurt these event caused,” he said.

Lawyers for the bishop had agreed with prosecutors to forego a jury trial, which was scheduled to begin later this month. Instead they opted for a quick before the judge, allowing for an immediate verdict and sentencing.

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