Crime

KCK Archdiocese priest charged with possessing child pornography

Update: An earlier version of this story said Christopher Rossman was a “former priest.” The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas said Rossman is still a priest, though he cannot act as one while the child pornography case is investigated.

A priest who served at several locations under the Kansas City, Kansas, Archdiocese has been charged in federal court with possessing child pornography.

Christopher Rossman allegedly possessed visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct in September 2016, according to charging documents.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas said it reported Rossman to police after receiving information that he had accessed the inappropriate content.

He was immediately suspended from serving as a pastor in Baldwin City and Lapeer, Kansas, the Archdiocese said. He had previously been assigned to churches in Olathe, Topeka, Holton, Mayetta and the Potawatomi Reservation.

While Rossman couldn’t act as a priest while the matter was investigated, he is still a priest with the Archdiocese.

“The Archdiocese will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as this matter moves forward,” the organization said in a statement Thursday.

Scott Toth, Rossman’s attorney, said it would be premature to comment on the case now.

In January, the Archdiocese published a list of clergy who have been accused of sexual abuse.

Rossman was listed among priests who were the subject of publicized allegations the Archdiocese said it wasn’t able to substantiate, along with three other men. Those included Scott Kallal, who now faces two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child in Wyandotte County District Court.

Kallal’s trial, which has been delayed once, is scheduled to start Sept. 9.

Twenty-two other clergy named by the Archdiocese had complaints substantiated against them.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation on clergy sexual abuse and formed a task force.

Reports of clergy sexual abuse can be made to the KBI at 1-800-572-7463. The Archdiocese also has a report line at 913-647-3051.

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Katie Moore covers crime and justice issues for The Star. She is a University of Kansas graduate and was previously a reporter in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.
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