KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A former Kansas City, Mo. priest will spend the next 50 years behind bars.
A judge sentenced Rev. Shawn Ratigan Thursday in a U.S. District Court in Kansas City.
Federal prosecutors sought a 50-year sentence for the Roman Catholic priest who admitted taking pornographic photos of children.
Before learning his sentence, Ratigan spoke to the victim's family saying, "There's no words I can express to tell you my sorrow, but it's there. I was good friends with all of them; I just couldn't help it."
He also apologized to his family and the Church.
The 47-year-old priest pleaded guilty in August 2012 to five counts of producing or attempting to produce child porn -- one count for each of five victims.
Ratigan was charged in May 2011 in Clay County after police received a flash drive from his computer containing hundreds of images of children, most of them clothed, with the focus on their crotch areas.
The Associate Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement regarding Ratigan's sentence, saying, " It's very reassuring to know that Ratigan can't ever hurt another child."
The statement goes on to say, "at the same time, the bank robber gets 50 years while the guy who drove the get away car does no jail time," referring to Bishop Finn, who failed to report the suspected child abuse.
Prosecutors say he photographed girls in and around churches where he worked in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
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