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US Bishop Charged For Not Reporting Priest's Child Porn To Police

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the thought-it-was-just-a-phase dept.

Crime 430

PolygamousRanchKid writes "Kansas City's Catholic bishop was charged Friday with not telling police about child pornography found on a priest's computer, making him the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic official indicted on a charge of failing to protect children. Finn has acknowledged that he and other diocese officials knew for months about hundreds of 'disturbing' images of children that were discovered on a priest's computer but did not report the matter to authorities or turn over the computer."

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430 comments

Timothy (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720990)

gtfo

Study is in order (0)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720996)

Has anyone done a study on this yet?

Re:Study is in order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721278)

I volunteer to study his collection. In fact, I'll even pay!

Police are always looking for Porn. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721562)

It was just the other day that one asked me if they can search my PDA for stuff,
and I told that faggot to go look for porn on his own equipment.

I think it's gotten verry bad that Police are so-desperate to actually search for Child Porn on
everyone's computers while on the clock. And they are so-trusting to the public that they want Porn of
all kinds as though it's a confidence-building scheme not part of law but just another municipal corporation employee
that is no different than McDonald's or Brinks employees. They should go look in the average library for that shit,
specifically starting with the Law Library
so they can learn something while searching for something thta is warmly clothed in the nearby aisle for Toddler books.

Fucking COPS, how do they get work behaving like that before becoming Police?

( Are they just an inferior non-registered gang that seeks the privilege of the reigning court? )

Summary isn't correct (as usual) (-1, Troll)

dev872 (2485194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721006)

He claims [evenweb.com] (and after reading this I belive him) that the whole thing was set up.

Re:Summary isn't correct (as usual) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721146)

goatse

Is that how that works? (5, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721008)

It would seem strange that an employer would be required to report such a thing, particularly if there was no evidence that any child had been harmed, however, it would appear to be so, the indictment is specifically for "Failure of Mandated Reporter to Report." Here is the relevant Missouri statute [mo.gov] .

PP 4 reads:

In addition to those persons and officials required to report actual or suspected abuse or neglect, any other person may report in accordance with sections 210.109 to 210.183 if such person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.

Does possession of child porn constitute "reasonable cause to suspect"?

Re:Is that how that works? (5, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721058)

Does possession of child porn constitute "reasonable cause to suspect"?

You'd have to ask the judge and jury.

Also, thank you for thinking about the law instead of jumping on the "hate hate hate + guilty until proven innocent" bandwagon. I'd mod you up if I hadn't wasted all my points for the day.

Re:Is that how that works? (4, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721166)

You'd have to ask the judge and jury.

As far as the law is concerned it's probably not much of an issue, if you asked me and my kid was in that class I'd say "hell yes!" The first part of the law is very much built around what you do if you see or suspect abuse, not abuse that may happen... if the priest's superior knows that his priest-employee has been looking at kiddie porn for 30 years with no instances of abuse, then he can come to a reasonable conclusion that he won't abuse. He should definitely FIRE the guy, and carefully interview everyone around him, the children he has been in contact with, and their families.

But I guess the families have a right to know why the teacher is leaving, and they'd all be rather motivated to drop a dime on him, so I guess the law is proper -- it compels the mandated person to do what was eventually going to have to happen anyways, even if it were less demanding.

The problem is, the law is ordering you to ruin someone's career and life when no one has been harmed, when merely firing someone or moving them out of contact with children would be a completely suitable remedy to the danger the law is trying to prevent. If the cops throw up a sting and catch him with kiddie porn, then the law's the law and he should go to jail, but are we ready to force people's friends and coworkers to turn someone in for this?

Re:Is that how that works? (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721246)

if the priest's superior knows that his priest-employee has been looking at kiddie porn for 30 years with no instances of abuse, then he can come to a reasonable conclusion that he won't abuse.

"In a memo dated May 19, 2010, Hess wrote that several people had complained Ratigan was taking compromising pictures of young children and that he allowed them to sit on his lap and reach into his pocket for candy."

The problem is, the law is ordering you to ruin someone's career and life when no one has been harmed,[...]

If the porn is a cartoon drawing, then probably no child has been harmed. But that wasn't the case here. "Seven months later, a computer technician working on Ratigan's laptop found hundreds of what he called "disturbing" images of children, most of them fully clothed with the focus on their crotch areas, and a series of pictures of a 2- to 3-year-old girl with her genitals exposed." If someone took crotch shots of my daughter when she was 2, I would certainly consider that "harm."

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721608)

I wouldn't disagree, but I have just realised that I have been reading this thread thus far without gaining the slightest understanding of why this topic has appeared on Slashdot. It's hardly "news for nerds".

Re:Is that how that works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721628)

If the porn is a cartoon drawing, then probably no child has been harmed. But that wasn't the case here. "Seven months later, a computer technician working on Ratigan's laptop found hundreds of what he called "disturbing" images of children, most of them fully clothed with the focus on their crotch areas, and a series of pictures of a 2- to 3-year-old girl with her genitals exposed." If someone took crotch shots of my daughter when she was 2, I would certainly consider that "harm."

If you took photos yourself naked at age 8, and still had said photos of yourself at age 18 in some drawer, you are also guilty of possession of child pornography. At least the way I understand it. Even though there was no harm. And the photos are of you.

Re:Is that how that works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721728)

Let's put a few things in perspective here.
"Focus on crotch area" is vague as hell. For one thing, the crotch is in the middle of the body. If you try to take a picture of someone's full body, you'll center it on the crotch. Now I know professional photographs don't take such pictures, they try to frame only the head and torso, but amateurs often photograph the full body.
The priest probably downloaded those pictures because they were focused on the crotch, but that doesn't mean the photographer did this on purpose. It's entirely possible this priest found pictures of family vacations and downloaded the most "provocative" ones.

Speaking of provocative, there's no word that the children in the pictures were in provocative poses. Usually, articles about child pornography mention pictures of children in such poses. A picture of a child posing like an adult porn-star would pose is a good indicator that the photographer was trying to do child porn. "Pictures centered on the crotch area" means nothing.

As for the "genitals exposed" this could mean anything from full and innocent nudity (plenty of parents take pictures of their babies or toddlers in the bath because they find it cute and they see nothing sexual in it) to a child fully dressed except for the genitals being uncovered in a sexual way.

I don't doubt the priest is a pedophile, but I question whether the photographers are pedophiles. If the pictures were taken innocently, then no harm came to the children. Again, and just to be clear, it all depends on what the pictures really show.

I think this is very interesting to follow because the government might be blowing this out of proportion here.
First, if none of the pictures are really child porn and would look like innocent family pictures if they were posted on Facebook, then the government is prosecuting a man not for possessing child porn, not even for assaulting a child, but just for being sexually attracted to children. Good luck getting such people to seek therapy before they actually do touch a kid if you jail them not for what they do but what they are!
Second, if none of the pictures are child porn, then the government is trying to create a crime when there is no victim. The fact that a pervert found the pictures of these kids sexually arousing doesn't harm the kids. Or should I be charged with rape if I masturbate to pictures of Jennifer Aniston I found in the newspaper?

Re:Is that how that works? (3, Informative)

domatic (1128127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721566)

Any child porn with live actors IS documentation of abuse. Anyone who has it is fueling that abuse. It isn't something you just let go.

I don't agree with hounding people because of nasty cartoons with children but the real thing is another beast altogether. Kids can't give consent. Servicing the market for it is a crime. Being a part of the market for it is a crime.

And anyhoo this creepazoid wasn't just getting his jollies from horrible pix....

Re:Is that how that works? (0)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721126)

1) Is a Catholic Bishop considered an employer? I have never heard that religious organizations are treated as companies and have officers, employees, board members, etc. I am confused as to what the Bishop *is* in that regards.

2) Possession can be a reasonable cause to suspect. Let me be clear on that. Having some photos of girls that might be 16-17 showing off their tits (developed tits) at a club or party is not child porn. Child porn is where it is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that it is a small prepubescent child in the content.

I would think that somebody that has pornographic pictures of children nude or engaged in sexual acts is a reasonable indicator that they are sexually aroused by such images and situations, and at some point, will attempt to bring their own fantasies to life. Every pedophile has a first time they abused a child, and I believe there was a catalyst. Either past sexual abuse inflicted upon them, or a developed sexual attraction towards children.

Whether or not I think the sole act of possession is enough to warrant prison time is another matter, but I would suspect the person of having sexually abused children in the past, and certainly thinking about abusing children in the future.

If I found child pornography on a computer in my company I would investigate it immediately. Absolute first thing I would determine is if the employee is actually accessing it, and is it accessible from the public Internet. Meaning, was my company hacked and the system being used as a dump to serve child porn.

Either way, once my initial investigation was complete (which would be that day), I would involve the authorities without question.

Re:Is that how that works? (5, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721308)

somebody that has pornographic pictures of children nude or engaged in sexual acts is a reasonable indicator that they are sexually aroused by such images and situations,

Sounds likely.

and at some point, will attempt to bring their own fantasies to life

Whoa, Nellie. Small difference between looking and fantasizing, huge difference between fantasizing and doing.

Re:Is that how that works? (0)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721498)

Whoa, Nellie. Small difference between looking and fantasizing, huge difference between fantasizing and doing.

Depends on what you are talking about. Fantasizing about some things can be indicative of a deeper pathology.

Fantasizing about some celebrity, or being in Star Trek, or on the game grid in Tron is one thing. Killing or harming people is another.

A normal person does not truly fantasize about this, or plan on how to do it. Sexual attraction towards children is abnormal and in most cases is associated with other trauma or psychological problems.

I don't work for the FBI or anything studying serial killers but I don't think we need a psych major here to tell you that certain fantasies tended to be acted upon more than others. Specifically, the darker ones associated with more mental problems.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721594)

Fantasizing about some celebrity, or being in Star Trek, or on the game grid in Tron is one thing. Killing or harming people is another.

The hands down #1 fantasy of both genders is rape. Does that come under harm? Does it make everyone a rapist?

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721722)

What?????

That is the #1 fantasy????

I have never had a fantasy about raping a woman. Ever.

Citation Puhleeeze.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721724)

...but I don't think we need a psych major here to tell you that certain fantasies tended to be acted upon more than others. Specifically, the darker ones associated with more mental problems.

That's BS.

Rephrased as the following, and I'd completely agree: ...but I don't think we need a psych major here to tell you that certain fantasies, if acted upon, would cause more danger to people than other fantasies. Specifically, etc...

If your fantasy is about being in Star Trek, and you try to act on it, so what?
If you fantasize about being with some celebrity (not raping or mauling them, but actually being with them), and you try to act on it (try to get to know them), big deal.
If you fantasize about raping old ladies, and you try to act on it, things could end quite badly for the old lady involved.

The thing is, I HIGHLY doubt the problem is the percentage of fantasizers in a group that attempt to act on it. In fact, I'd be willing to wager the percentage goes the other way. For instance, I'd bet that, of those who fantasize about anthropomorphic behaviors, there is a high percentage of those that act on it and that, conversely, there are a lower percentage of those who fantasize about rape and act on it. Strong negative consequences do deter most people from actions.

Re:Is that how that works? (4, Insightful)

yndrd1984 (730475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721312)

Is a Catholic Bishop considered an employer?

Who do you think hires and fires Catholic priests?

Having some photos of girls that might be 16-17 showing off their tits (developed tits) at a club or party is not child porn.

In the real world maybe not, but according to the legal system it certainly is.

I would think that somebody that has pornographic pictures of children nude or engaged in sexual acts is a reasonable indicator that ... at some point, [they] will attempt to bring their own fantasies to life.

Absolutely not. Limiting myself to fantasies I had today at work, I can think of three - running my boss over with a car, having sex with the married hottie, and taking an axe to a certain server - that I would never act upon. I can't bring myself to believe that people who fantasize about children are somehow the only ones who must, without fail, act on their every dark desire.

If I found child pornography on a computer in my company I would investigate it immediately. Absolute first thing I would determine is if the employee is actually accessing it, and is it accessible from the public Internet. Meaning, was my company hacked and the system being used as a dump to serve child porn. Either way, once my initial investigation was complete (which would be that day), I would involve the authorities without question.

This I agree with, without reservation.

Re:Is that how that works? (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721458)

Well I have a friend that works in the state crime lab on this very subject and he says many they bust (and the prosecutors give insanely huge sentences to) are what he calls "social retards" that frankly aren't a threat to anyone, young or old. One they busted hadn't even left his home since 1997, and when touched would freak and screech like a wounded animal. they ended up having to tranq him to get him out the home. he got 65 years BTW thanks to the several thousand CP pics he had.

The way he explained it to me was that these social retards don't interact with ANYBODY if they can help it, instead they live their entire "life" if you want to call it that, on their machines looking at porn. And just like a junkie who needs a larger fix to keep his habit these retards will need worse and worse porn to keep being able to even get it up. He said the porn they find ALWAYS follows a set pattern as well. First it is straight, then straight fetish (stockings, anal, gangbang, etc) followed by trannies, then B&D/S&M, then finally bestiality and CP. He also said you will find literally pounds and pounds of porn, but its all the same shit that has been floating around the net since the days of bulletin boards.

So just from what he has seen I'd say there is your proof there are plenty that can have a fantasy and not act on it, hell you could have put "tranq boy" into a room with a naked 9 year old and he could have curled up into a ball in the corner and screeched. I agree with him that the police would be a better use if they simply got shrinks for the social retards and instead focus manpower on the scum that actually hunt kids, but sadly the prosecutors want big busts as those make big headlines and they don't get big busts when it comes to actual child rapists as it can takes sometimes years to track them down. Sadly I doubt this will ever change as nobody has the guts to say anything that could come out as "being soft on CP" so they'll just waste resources chasing retards while the real hunter scum won't get busted unless their victims come forward.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721492)

I would think that somebody that has pornographic pictures of children nude or engaged in sexual acts is a reasonable indicator that ... at some point, [they] will attempt to bring their own fantasies to life.

Absolutely not. Limiting myself to fantasies I had today at work, I can think of three - running my boss over with a car, having sex with the married hottie, and taking an axe to a certain server - that I would never act upon. I can't bring myself to believe that people who fantasize about children are somehow the only ones who must, without fail, act on their every dark desire.

But that's not the reason why it should be illegal. The problem isn't specifically with looking at child porn, or that by doing so they might be motivated to act on their desires, but that they are maintaining the industry. Someone, somewhere had to produce the images, and that does cause a very real harm to someone. By eliminating the consumers at the bottom, you at least in part eliminate the need for the producers at the top.

It's the same reason for why buying body parts is illegal. You getting the part to save your life isn't a problem. The problem is that it fosters an industry of organic chop shops, kidnapping people and parting them out, in order to have a supply of fresh organs to sell you.

Re:Is that how that works? (2)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721322)

Having some photos of girls that might be 16-17 showing off their tits (developed tits) at a club or party is not child porn.

It is, however, prosecutable as such. Just as an FYI. And yes, judges are acutely aware of the fact that it is legal for some people (e.g., two 16-year-olds) to have sex in almost every state but illegal for them to look at each other's bodies while they do so.

Re:Is that how that works? (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721546)

I never disputed that it was illegal under the current laws. Just the throwing it all into one category is bullshit.

It's perfectly normal to be attracted to 16-18 year old girls sexually when they are fully developed young women. That's biology. Sentencing a 21 year old man to prison time for having a 17 year girl friend and possessing naked pictures of her is just retarded.

My point was in making the distinction of what is a biological motivation to be sexually attracted to the opposite sex (or same) and being sexually attracted towards children.

It's different, and the law says they are the same. If am I going to be part of sentencing a man (or woman) to prison for "child" porn, it had better damn well be children and not some sexually active 16 year old girl actively seeking sexual partners. If it is a 16 year old boy, actively seeking sexual partners is a given 99.9999% of the time.

So if I find some pictures on a guys computer at work where it's possible that it might be some high school cheerleaders I would probably just ignore it. 7 year old girls, or worse boys? I am going to report that because I do consider him a threat to children and needing of psychological evaluation. Prison time is a bit harsh for simple possession, but I am certainly not going to be silent about it.

Re:Is that how that works? (5, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721654)

7 year old girls, or worse boys? I am going to report that...

As a matter of interest, why is it worse to abuse a boy than a girl?

Re:Is that how that works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721354)

Word from 4chan is that the CP users are far too frightened to do it themselves. I suspect that that is most of CP users.

I would involve the authorities without question.

Meaning that they would come and take your equipment and keep it for six months before even looking at it. In the mean time you will be bothered by police and there will be your company mentioned in the news as associated with child abuse. That happened to my friends company (at which he is a lowly code monkey), except it was only a warez server. It would have been several times worse for CP, I imagine.

Re:Is that how that works? (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721510)

I would think that somebody that has pornographic pictures of children nude or engaged in sexual acts is a reasonable indicator that they are sexually aroused by such images and situations, and at some point, will attempt to bring their own fantasies to life.

This a very dangerous line of reasoning. Everyone fantasizes about breaking the law from time to time; few people act on those impulses. Criminalizing bad thoughts is a terrible, terrible idea. Child porn is bad because it's abusive to the children involved in making it, and gives a profit incentive for film makers to abuse more children. It should be illegal for those reasons. As soon as you start accepting the notion that things can be illegal to think about, you start walking down a very dark path, and you won't like where it ends.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721598)

I never said it should be criminalized, only that the person should be receiving psychological evaluation immediately. I also *never* indicated that thoughts or fantasies should be criminalized at all.

There is a big difference, huge difference, about fantasizing about pulling off some heist, or punching your boss, and killing/raping/torturing people.

Not all fantasies are equal. If you go into an ER and answer a question about suicidal thoughts or fantasies the wrong way.... boy let me tell you... it gets people hopping around really quickly.

That same logic applies here. Fantasies/thoughts about hurting people or sexually abusing children fall into the category of "this shit needs to be dealt with now". Why? They don't want it happening later on, because it turns out, it usually does.

So although I agree with you in principle, I don't agree that we can group these specific fantasies with your seemingly overall category of "harmless". Some of them we need to pay attention too and attempt to help people. I don't want to see the person automatically go to prison, but I do want to see them receive some sort of help and therapy. At a minimum, have well qualified people determine just how likely it is that they will act on those impulses.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721718)

Everyone fantasizes about breaking the law from time to time; few people act on those impulses.

Actually, people quite frequently break the law... it's kind of part of the reason for search warrants, and why police states end up being able to arbitrarily label anyone a criminal. I think your idea of "fantasizing does not result in actually breaking the law" is suffering from selective memory biases that humans have. You recall the times where you fantasize yet don't break the law more readily than you recall when you fantasize and then do break the law. Likely thinking most of the time that you broke the law without ever fantasizing about it.

Either way: no, simple fantasizing about a crime should never be good cause to arrest someone. However, this priest was in active violation of child-pornography laws, which by US law traditions is inextricable from child abuse, such that even cartoons or any other depiction of child porn is deemed illegal, as the harm to children goes beyond simply just the harm done by sexually violating them in order to take the picture.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721518)

If I found child pornography on a computer in my company I would investigate it immediately. Absolute first thing I would determine is if the employee is actually accessing it, and is it accessible from the public Internet. Meaning, was my company hacked and the system being used as a dump to serve child porn.

Wow, no, dude. If I found undeniable child porn (not a kid in the bath or something likely to be innocent), I'd stop what I was doing, call the cops, then call my boss. I'm not going to run the risk of having some kiddy-diddler get off (no pun intended) because he could make a case that I'd tampered with the evidence or simply that the evidence had been mishandled. Let the cops do their forensic analysis using tools and methods that are accepted in the relevant court(s).

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721668)

While you have a point, I would still determine if company resources were simply being used as a dump, or if the employee was actively involved.

I don't trust cops, and I trust the FBI even less. Many companies I have worked for can't take the hit, and you just have no idea if the cops are going to seize all your equipment, specific equipment, etc.

So, yes, I could be absolutely safe and secure in the knowledge that responsibility was entirely in the hands of the authorities, but at a very severe risk of company operations being so severely impacted that it threatens the livelihood of hundreds of other employees.

Sorry, I have heard of too many nightmare stories. Like the one about the complete dipshit working at the FBI that seized all equipment in the datacenter, not just from the suspect, but hundreds of other companies at the same time. Not all of them survived.

In one case, the FTC had to be negotiated with on the spot to not take every single server, but only the specific ones that were being used by the customer to host their operations and data. In fact, in that case the FTC was convinced and persuaded so well, the equipment was not confiscated at all and the company was hired to help host and evaluate the data for them since said company also developed some of the code.

I guess there has to be a balance, and I would rather determine on my own if an employee is involved or not, before having to replace an entire infrastructure and laying off employees till everything was back up and working.

Re:Is that how that works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721170)

Possession of childporn is illegal.

Re:Is that how that works? (2)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721236)

Does possession of child porn constitute "reasonable cause to suspect"?

I don't know enough about the statute to directly answer that question. It wouldn't surprise me if it did simply given how as a society we treat child porn and anything remotely connected to it. But in this context one doesn't even need to go that far. From the article:

Finn acknowledged earlier this year that St. Patrick's School Principal Julie Hess had more than a year ago raised concerns that a priest was behaving inappropriately around children, but that he didn't read her written report until after the Rev. Shawn Ratigan was charged with child pornography counts this spring. Ratigan has pleaded not guilty. In a memo dated May 19, 2010, Hess wrote that several people had complained Ratigan was taking compromising pictures of young children and that he allowed them to sit on his lap and reach into his pocket for candy

So this wasn't just that they had found pictures but that they had found pictures and had of actual behavior. TFA discusses further problems. I don't think a jury will need to think very hard about what exactly constitutes reasonable suspicion in this case.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

Caraig (186934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721414)

It would seem strange that an employer would be required to report such a thing, particularly if there was no evidence that any child had been harmed,

If the pornography is photos or videos of real live children (as opposed to drawings/art/renders) then the argument can be and has been made that children have been materially harmed. Not only were they abused in the taking of the photos, but the photos of them -- doubtless embarrassing, certainly a painful remembrance of what happened to them -- still exist and are still being distributed. So there is measurable harm that was done and is still being done to them.

A slightly more specious argument can be made that possession of child pornography enables child pornographers by fostering a demand for it. That's a good debate to have, since it can apply to a number of other situations as well.

Re:Is that how that works? (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721426)

It would seem strange that an employer would be required to report such a thing, particularly if there was no evidence that any child had been harmed

The photograph is evidence of the sexual abuse of a child --- the child in the photograph.

Its production is a criminal act. Its distribution is a criminal act. Its possesion is a criminal act. This is basic.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721464)

In our legal system, possession of child porn is considered to make the possessor culpable for the abuse of the child.

Personally, I think it's an easy way for officials to look like they are "doing something" about a particularly heinous problem while the real child abusers may go completely free. We can probably catch hundreds of people who view such pornographic images, but the people who were actually physically involved in creating the images are not apprehended all that often. (It does happen, though -- there was a bust of a child porn ring in my area a few years back.)

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721564)

In our legal system, possession of child porn is considered to make the possessor culpable for the abuse of the child.

...and I have zero problem with that. By consuming the media (downloading to view), this "person" is creating demand. The demand is filled by more children being preyed upon.

This is one of the very few crimes where I do not support rehabilitation or believe in redemption. I don't believe in the death penalty except in the most extreme of circumstances (this is not one). However in the case of child abuse (physical and/or sexual) I am wholeheartedly behind punitive incarceration and the removal of said "person" from society for the remainder of their sad, little life.

I am perhaps, biased, but I have seen first hand the results of the horror inflicted by these self-absorbed, impotent psychopaths.

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721574)

The law says "has been" as well as "may be". Someone had to create the CP. That means someone, somewhere has already sexually abused a child. The possessor of the CP is not relevant as far as reporting it's existence, really.

Now, there are still corner cases. It is possible he was only in possession of material created without a child such as digital renderings or drawings (which are still illegal in many jurisdictions) or photography for medical or other legitimate purposes (such as a parent photographing their child taking a bath).

Re:Is that how that works? (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721678)

I don't know about Missouri, but according to a U.S. Dept of Justice prosecutor who taught I class I took, yes, if you discover CP, you are required to report it. Always. We were, in fact, told that failure to report was itself a crime. Happily, it's not something I ever stumbled across in any of the investigations I've done, but there's no doubt in my mind that if I had, I'd be making the call.

Re:Is that how that works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721684)

Yes.

mixed feelings (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721014)

I was ambivalent about this at first, but on reflection I think this is a good thing. It helps break up the conspiracy of silence (due to not wanting to embarrass the order) that can shield a molester for years.

Re:mixed feelings (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721156)

If it is covering up molestation, then yes; but it is covering up (more accurately, not reporting) possession of child pornography. It seems like the church should not have to report possession of child pornography, but that they should take reasonable in-house steps to limit any potential detriment to young people that that possession might signal. Maybe the particular priest is told not to be alone with a single child, for example, and is disciplined in-house.

If it were covering up molestation--particularly ongoing molestation--then someone should go to jail for it.

I am not comfortable with the idea of criminalizing a person who doesn't report a colleague, except in certain situations. You might fire them (in a publicly-held corporation, for example). But particularly where there is no ongoing harm, and where the person is not a law enforcement official or perhaps officer of the court, it does not seem helpful to require people to report.

Actually, it may disincentivize witnesses later--if they had a duty to report something, they will refuse to testify as to what was occurring because that would be incriminating themselves.

Re:mixed feelings (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721220)

Picture of child pornography come from somewhere.

Plus he also had kids search is pockets for candy; which is pretty damning.

  "I am not comfortable with the idea of criminalizing a person who doesn't report a colleague, except in certain situations. "
So endangered children aren't the exception?

Add to all that, it's a misdemeanor.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Re:mixed feelings (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721282)

The picture did come from somewhere--which goes to the producer, not the consumer. Unless the consumer is paying for it.

The searching pockets for candy is different; I did not see that bit.

Endangered children *ARE* one of the exceptions, hence "covering up molestation--particularly ongoing molestation." I am not convinced that possession of child pornography by an adult endangers children. If there is any good evidence on the topic, I might chance my mind--but for obvious reasons, it's not the kind of study you can get IRB approval for.

Re:mixed feelings (1, Insightful)

flosofl (626809) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721602)

What is so hard to understand? Consumption *creates* demand. Demand is fulfilled BY CREATING MORE CHILD PORN. How in the world do you reach the conclusion that possession does not make the owner of said "product" culpable?

This isn't stuff you can find on USENET anymore. These... creatures... have to seek out distributors of this vile muck. They either supply their own in exchange in a tit-for-tat system, or they pay for it.

Supply, demand, and scarcity (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721694)

Consumption *creates* demand.

Hmm, I thought that primal sexual urges created the demand. Guess I was wrong eh?

And what happens when the FBI makes existing child pornography hard to find? People who have those urges are going to create new child pornography to satisfy those urges.

Perhaps the FBI should spend more money protecting actual children rather than chasing down people with copies of crime scene photographs. Sure, it's more difficult to catch people who molest children, but it does the children a lot more good than chasing down pictures that were taken of them three years ago. But the FBI would rather chase a bunch of pictures around; keeps the arrest and conviction rates up, gets them promotions...at the cost of real, living children not being helped.

Re:mixed feelings (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721606)

Having child porn is cause for a more thorough investigation, especially if the particular individual in possession is engaged in other odd behaviors with regards to children. And that's the basis for indicting the bishop. Holding onto that knowledge for that many months greatly weakens the police's opportunity to investigate any crimes which might have occurred on top of the apparent possession of child pornography.

The only concern I have is that there is still no mens rea requirement for possession of child porn and as such it matters little whether or not the possessor is aware that it is child porn or that it's in his or her possession.

I doubt very much that the possession in this case was an accident, I suppose it is possible, but I doubt that he just happened to have those photos and happened to engage in troubling actions with children.

Re:mixed feelings (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721302)

And misdemeanor criminalization is still criminalization.

Re:mixed feelings (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721620)

So, what do you think the penalty should be for turning a blind eye to a possible pedophile that has regular close contact with children? And that's the crux of the matter, assuming the reports are accurate, the bishop ultimately is a part of a conspiracy to engage in sex crimes against children.

Re:mixed feelings (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721318)

You've pretty much summed up my misgivings, which is why I was conflicted. But there's been so much press about child molestation in the church, and they've taken so much flack for it -- justifiably so in my opinion -- that to not report child porn given the larger circumstances is absolutely inexcusable.

If they had a duty to report something, they should have reported it. If they decide not to, they will have to abide by the consequences of that decision, just like we must abide by the consequences of a decision to help cover up any crime.. What you suggest may be true, but it leads down a rat hole I think.

Re:mixed feelings (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721326)

...and I'm aware that child porn does not equate to child molestation. But it is a prime indicator.

Summary isn't correct (-1, Troll)

dev873 (2485202) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721030)

He claims [evenweb.com] (and after reading this I belive him) that the whole thing was set up.

Re:Summary isn't correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721052)

Link is to "goatse". Be warned.

Re:Summary isn't correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721068)

Die Goatse motherfucker

Slashdot has outdone itself. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721032)

This would have never have made Slashdot if it weren't for the religious connection. The thin disguise of technological interest is pathetic and so is PolygamousRanchKid.
 
What's the problem Slashdot? Bored of beating on MS so you have to find a new target for your two minute hate?

Re:Slashdot has outdone itself. (-1, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721072)

The Pedo Church has paid over ONE BILLION dollars worldwide to its victims in settlement money/damage control.

How dare you or any modern man defend superstition, let alone Catholicism? Even the Irish are getting fed up:

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-18/world/ireland.abuse.fallout_1_child-abuse-ireland-irish-times?_s=PM:WORLD [cnn.com]

A better question is "why does a tech forum whose members should be educated enough to despise superstition have superstitionists posting?"

If you support Catholicism you support pedophilia. Kill yourself.

Re:Slashdot has outdone itself. (3, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721158)

This post is flamebait, but I'll respond in case a wider audience is interested in the question:

How dare you or any modern man defend superstition, let alone Catholicism?

Idunno. There's this whole "freedom of thought" and "tolerance" sort of thing going on, and it seems to have worked rather well for society over the past few centuries. If you don't defend the unpopular, you just end up with mob rule. You don't want mob rule; it would be a real pity if we threw away the notion of tolerance and later rational thought landed on the wrong side of public opinion. Also working out rather well: "innocent until proven guilty". And from the bad ideas file: "guilt by association" and "people who don't agree with me are inhuman scum".

In any event, the problem really isn't that the typical Catholic priests is a child molestor. The problem is that child molestors actively seek positions of trust and authority to perpetrate their crimes and the church has been inadequate in its response. Before you exercise your prejudice, think of the children - your prejudice may hide the real danger.

Re:Slashdot has outdone itself. (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721378)

Fuck off, idiot. I don't care if the Catholics raped you as a kid and kicked you puppy, it is irrelevant to the discussion and is blinding you from thinking rationally.

Re:Slashdot has outdone itself. (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721224)

How dare you or any modern man defend superstition, let alone Catholicism?.

  Idunno. There's this whole "freedom of thought" and "tolerance" sort of thing going on, and it seems to have worked rather well for society over the past few centuries.

      That's all well and good when you are believing the right things. But if you are believing the *wrong* things, well, we have to stamp it out, shout you down, or treat you like a moron! We can't have you going around having independent opinions, now, can we? You have to be tolerant *in exactly the way we want you to be*.

        Brett

Re:Slashdot has outdone itself. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721340)

Inadequate in it's response?

Could that be the understatement of the year?

It's response at every turn has been to protect itself and the abusers. That's not inadequate, that's evil. Fuck the catholic church and the pope.

Business as usual. (-1, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721034)

Anyone who doesn't instantly turn in pedos to the cops supports their perversion.

The Catholic Church has demonstrated by paying out more than a billion dollars worldwide in ongoing scandals that it is nothing more than a pedo cult.

Re:Business as usual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721176)

Pavlik Morozov, is that you?

Re:Business as usual. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721446)

Consider this: A pack of wild Niggers.
Savage, slavering Niggers nearing your white home. Trampling your white lawn. Raping your white daughter.
And you can't do shit since they're savages. The Nigger leader grabs your wife and fucks her with his shaman stick.
The primal Niggers finally dominate your household. They watch barbaric shows on TV and you are forced to be their slave.
Such is the downfall of White Man.

Article unclear...did the priest molest children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721046)

Did the priest molest children, or did he just have pictures of a crime scene?

Also: mandatory reporting of crimes? Is Missouri trying to resurrect the Staatssicherheit?

Pretty Terrible Story (5, Informative)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721056)

The parishoners knew for months, if not years, that something strange was going on, but the diocese refused to do anything. There's a letter out there that the principle sent to the Bishop that's quite damning (and that the bishop supposedly never even read).

http://www.nbcactionnews.com/dpp/news/crime/a-newly-released-letter-by-snap-shows-that-parents-were-concerned-about-father-shawn-ratigan [nbcactionnews.com]

The church still doesn't appear to be taking this stuff seriously and parents should be concerned.

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (3, Insightful)

jmcnally (100849) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721078)

Why is this a slashdot story? There are plenty of forums for this terrible story.

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721168)

Chilling Effect
Working as a tech and finding Child Pornography on a client's computer. You apparently are required to report it as child endangerment or whatever this is or you too can be arrested. The Thought Police are in full effect here.

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (1)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721192)

So the kids in the photos, and who might be in jeopardy, are just SOL? That's not very noble of you.

Won't someone think of the adults? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721358)

If you found a picture on someone's hard drive of a person being beaten up, and you didn't know when it was taken, didn't know who the people in the picture were, and didn't even know if the picture had any relation to the person who had it, would you believe the person being beaten up in the picture was in jeopardy?

And even if they were in jeopardy, should we suspend the fourth amendment in pursuit of a perpetrator for the photo we found (like we do for child pornography)?

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721440)

So the kids in the photos, and who might be in jeopardy, are just SOL? That's not very noble of you.

Yeah, you never know if the photos and videos are stuff the person downloaded or stuff they created. If it's just stuff they downloaded and you ignore it, then there might not be much harm done. The abuse already happened and evidence of it is making the rounds, and some guy hoarding stuff isn't going to change anything. But if it's stuff the owner created and you ignore it, then you had the chance to save some children from more abuse and you blew it off. Would you be willing to take that risk? Would you be able to look at those kids in ten or twenty years and tell them that you were able to put a stop to the abuse but you ignored it?

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721392)

slashdots quality has been going down for years.

Let me demonstrate with a conversation I had with someone a few days ago

'saw this on slashdot'
'They are still around? I thought everyone stopped reading them years ago.'

Its out of more habit that I come here...

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721138)

Honestly, that's the consistent thread with these clergy abuse cases that really makes it a matter of gross institutional rot, rather than an unfortunate but statistically inevitable consequence of having lots and lots of employees in contact with children.

Overwhelmingly, each organizational layer has shown itself more concerned with coverup than with cleanup, and the church management still seems to be fighting their medieval battle to assert that their club's rules trump civil law... What is even more vexing is that they seem largely to be getting away with it. Some civil payouts, a few old men whose statue of limitations hasn't quite run out; but the leadership has been absolutely teflon throughout the whole affair.

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (5, Insightful)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721216)

What really bothers me is that the laypeople get it and are trying to do the appropriate thing, but when they run things up the chain the guys up there clearly STILL don't get it. I don't know if it's arrogance or ignorance or what (but the Opus Dei reference makes me wonder about lingering old-school arrogance).

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (1, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721342)

What do you expect out of a system that denies priests the right to marry? These scandals don't routinely rock the Episcopal, Lutheran, or Orthodox communities, because you can be a priest and still have a sex life in those denominations.

Are you mad? Priests are POLICE. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721514)

Priests are nothing more than police that can't use the threat of force other than suggestive inducement of an argument in their favor.

Charging catholic priests with Posession of Child Pornography is like accusing the District Attorney of harboring evidence of crime in an evidence locker.

Get a grip with reality. You are forcing your unwritten law onto another Society that has a greater order of operation to follow than you have ever modelled your life after. The moment someone files a frivolous allegation about content that still is being processed then you expect the world to stop for you like you own something that you lent to them and don't like how it's being handled? That's all you have a say in this matter: is this your child porn that you are laying claim to own and don't want these administrators to sort through it, and fore-most if it was collected as any would say through the "sewage channels" of the internet then you should really consider that the quality of it is the kind you would expect to be planted by accessible officers from a police evidence repository to sting whatever logged network requests access it. This shit just doesn't grow on trees, and despite whoever is in possession of this content you must realize that there are independent investigations tracing said content to it's creator and these groups operate in secret so as to not spook the creators of it long enough for an ambush to take place.

What I'm saying is that likewise in every country, shit just doesn't appear and the accuser obviously has a say in how that material came into existance in their own perspective.

The reason why priests never had wives is not a purpose of remaining chast or even focused, but because the original enemies of Assyria were known by their country name "Assassins" like Islam commends to hunt-down the enemies of muslims by every relation possible. Now that the government has gone out of control of the people, everyone documented is at-risk of being harassed by prior disputes stemming back 1000's of years back to every Conquest and retaliation for the invasions from Jerusalem upwards to Asia minor and North Africa and France and Spain and Italy.

The only reason someone files a lawsuit today is to fatigue the unstudied defendant to absolute submittion of the foreign court. If any of you could balance between either of you whom is more oppressive as Catholicism or Islam then just consider that the United States was founded on secrecy and nowhere near as documented in their scriptures as even Islam and Catholicism yet everyone that is either Freemason or Jewish is rendered subordinate to another's cause.

If you find something you don't like, then why do you register their activity with someone whom you also do not like? You are pitting bullies against bullies, you think? Do you actually think these bastards will take anyone under their wing? The cleanest of them are sacrificed to conceal the greater evil, and that is likely to occur even in the Catholic church as is what is happening at this moment: you just don't walk into the yard and pear into a monk's window as he is reading something on a computer screne. There is an entire order of entry even into this monastic society. Something it always going to stink, someone is going to be jealous someone has posession of contraband of some kind that they complain to the nanny state, but the sewer keeps on flowing but you never whine about the filth constantly rolling out of your mouth and ass like it does in 4Chan.

I think that clears it up for you, Hitler.

God always wins, while we fling shit onto eachother.

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721640)

That's a large part of it, but if you read up on the history of the Catholic Church, particularly the stuff just leading up to the Reformation, it's not exactly news that the Catholic Church considers itself to be above the law.

What concerns me is when the Pope uses these incidents to drive a homophobic message rather than taking meaningful action to ensure that subordinates understand that cover ups are not to be tolerated in the Church.

Re:Pretty Terrible Story (-1, Flamebait)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721488)

...a matter of gross institutional rot...

...church management still seems to be fighting their medieval battle to assert that their club's rules trump civil law...

If only it were so benign. It's actually a case of sabotage and infiltration of the Church by Satanists and Freemasons. Organizations such as The Catholic League that downplay the problem and blame the media unwittingly do a disservice to the Church. The Church will heal only once it acknowledges the depth, magnitude, and cause of the problem and a Pope is elected who has been outside the problem from the start and cleans house by excommunicating the guilty bishops, and the remaining or newly ordained bishops reform the seminaries.

Summary isn't correct (-1, Troll)

dev875 (2485208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721082)

He claims [evenweb.com] (and after reading this I belive him) that the whole thing was set up.

Re:Summary isn't correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721104)

link is to a goatse page.

Re:Summary isn't correct (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721196)

Why is the poster -1?

Whenever someone makes a claim that a link is goatse, the admin should check it out, and then mod it +1 gabajillion.

Re:Summary isn't correct (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721424)

My guess is you've got an AC penalty enabled. He's at 0 with no mod history either way here.

That or the loser who modded him down posted afterwards. Check the timestamps, maybe you can figure out who?

Not just the RCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721094)

It's hardly unique to the RCC.

www.bing.com/search?q=child+pornography+indictment+school

Double standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721306)

Double standard

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/dave-pierre/2010/12/18/medias-double-standard-continues-when-reporting-child-sex-abuse

Re:Not just the RCC (0)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721352)

Dude, this is like the third time you've posted a wall of links to this discussion. The same wall of links. That's about two and one-third times too many. (I give it an extra one-third because walls of links are actually mildly obnoxious. You couldn't have at least put meaningful text, like the title of the article, in the quote? For bonus points, consider using an unordered list.)

I ask of you as a fellow man: Please attempt to contribute to future Slashdot discussions in a more meaningful manner. Thank you.

And yet (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721254)

the catholic church will say that they owe victims nothing. Pretty sick and twisted.

Re:And yet (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721430)

Suppose a Microsoft employee became a serial killer or a child molester, does it mean it's Microsoft's legal responsibility?

Re:And yet (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721662)

I dislike MS as much as anybody, but I think suggesting that MS would cover up allegations of sexual abuse or serial killing by an employee to be a bit far fetched even for slashdot.

Brain washing (5, Insightful)

deatypoo (1837038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721396)

In related news, this week on public radio airwaves, Father Raymond Gravel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Gravel [wikipedia.org] of the Canadian Roman Catholic Church compared the out of court settlement of 18 millions CAD (for 85 victims between 1950 and 1990) to being akin to turning the victims into prostitutes, because they would then be getting money in return of the sexual acts they performed. I almost crashed my car into a local church out of anger.

Re:Brain washing (2)

Beeftopia (1846720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721522)

If they were consenting adults, then perhaps.

If they were children who could not give informed consent, then you start to understand the depth of the problem.

Why is it the only religion that does not allow (1)

lsatenstein (949458) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721582)

Priests must be married to be healthy. No religion should allow single priests to remain unmarried for more than 2-3 years, except where age (60+) is a factor (example, a priest lost his wife)

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