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Bishop Finn is the highest-ranking church official charged with shielding an abusive priest. Experts say a criminal conviction against him could embolden prosecutors elsewhere to more aggressively pursue members of the church hierarchy who try to protect offending clergy.

Bishop Finn has acknowledged knowing about the images for months before they were turned over to police. Bishop Finn’s attorneys say the law is unconstitutionally vague.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports