Almost a year after Bishop Robert Finn and his diocese were charged with failing to report child-abuse suspicions, they will appear in court today to lay their case before a judge and not a jury.
In a surprising move made public Wednesday in a court filing, the bishop and the church have agreed to have a judge decide in a bench trial whether they are guilty. The move avoids a lengthy jury trial, which was set to open Sept. 24.
Prosecutors and lawyers representing Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are sorting through a series of facts about the case, a spokesman for Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said.
“This means that all the parties in the case — the diocese, Bishop Finn and the prosecutor’s office — are negotiating what the facts and testimony will be,” said Mike Mansur. “Those will be presented to the judge.”
Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence is expected to issue verdicts today.
I am troubled that my last post on this topic was deleted. I did not post any commentary, I only quoted the article and posted a link. I don’t see anything in the forum rules that prohibits posting a link to a relevant article.