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Judge won't dismiss charge against Missouri bishop

Judge won't dismiss misdemeanor charges against Kansas City Roman Catholic bishop, diocese By The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) ' A Missouri judge has refused to dismiss misdemeanor charges against a Kansas City diocese and its bishop, who is the highest-ranking U.S. Roman Catholic official accused of shielding an abusive priest.

Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are charged with failing to report suspected child abuse. Prosecutors say each is a "mandatory reporter" under the state law. Defense attorneys argued the law is unconstitutionally vague, and that Finn wasn't the diocese's designated reporter.

Circuit Judge John Torrence said Thursday the law isn't vague and there's evidence to allow jurors to conclude Finn is a designated reporter.

Finn has acknowledged he had been told about child pornography found on a priest's computer several months before the diocese turned over to police a disk containing the photos.

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