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May 17, 2013

Deal is reached in lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and Bishop Robert Finn by a girl who was 2 years old when Kansas City priest Shawn Ratigan took pornographic photos of her has tentatively been settled for $600,000, a Minnesota attorney representing the girl said Wednesday.

Gregg Meyers of the St. Paul, Minn., law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates told The Associated Press about the deal before it had been officially announced. He said it was reached after a full day of mediation between the parties Tuesday, soon after U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner in Kansas City dismissed one of two counts in the suit.

Fenner dismissed one count alleging the bishop and diocese aided and abetted Ratigan in his possession of child pornography. The judge said federal law stipulates that to be guilty of aiding and abetting, a party must have done so before or during the commission of a crime.

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