KANSAS CITY, Missouri - More controversy surfaced on Friday in the case of a Kansas City priest accused of possessing child pornography.
A letter written by the principal St. Patrick Catholic School went unread by Bishop Robert Finn for more than a year.
It detailed allegations and suspicions about one of the school's priests, Rev. Shawn Ratigan.
The letter, written a year to the day before Ratigan’s arrest, lays out a laundry list of accusations. It even said that Ratigan, “Fit the profile of a child predator."
The letter details 17 different occasions when Ratigan made either a parent or teacher at Saint Patrick’s feel uncomfortable.
The complaints range from worries about the way he used his Facebook page, to inappropriate touching.
It even alleged Ratigan allowed children to reach their hands into his pants pockets, “The children flock to him, their hands are all over him, and their hands are in his pockets."
Principal Julie Hess questioned Ratigan about his loose physical boundaries with children. She wrote in the letter that Ratigan said, “Children need to be touched and hugged.” She said he believed that was the “right thing for kids.”
Also, the letter included an allegation that a pair of girl's underwear was found in Ratigan's garden. The letter read, “Found a pair of girl's panties inside one of the planters in father's back yard."
Rebecca Randles handled the 2008 settlement with the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph. Her 47 clients received a payout of $10 million dollars.
She said the news of how the bishop handled Hess’ complaint letter has enraged her clients. Now, they want to file suit against the diocese again for violating the agreements of the settlement .
Randles explained, “This is one of those things were a bad situation has just turned into a tornado of a situation."
She continued to say that the letter is exactly what a prosecutor wants, “Let the jury see every word of that document. Absolutely, that is evidence of what the Diocese knew at the time."
The fact that some church leaders knew a year ago and didn't act is what Kay Goodnow sees as inexcusable. She was abused by a priest almost 60 years ago. Now, she is a child advocate.
Goodnow said, “I believe that the perpetrator himself and everybody who covered it up should be jailed for at least the rest of their lives."
She and Randles believe the Diocese covered up problems by not responding to the complaints, concerns and allegations made in the letter by Hess.
Hess declined to speak with NBC Action News on Friday. Our questions were referred to the bishop’s office.
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