January 06, 2005

Alleged Victim of Priest May Not Testify

Macon Telegraph

Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Prosecutors told a judge Thursday that an alleged victim of defrocked priest Paul Shanley might refuse to testify if he is publicly identified during the upcoming sexual abuse trial. That would mean the end of the criminal case against one of the most notorious figures in the Boston Archdiocese's sex scandal, Assistant District Attorney Lynn Rooney said.

The disclosure came during a hearing in Superior Court on whether the media should be allowed to report the alleged victim's name during Shanley's trial.

The Associated Press, the Boston Herald and The Boston Globe have challenged a judge's order issued earlier this week barring the media from identifying alleged victims in the case. The order was issued at prosecutors' request.

In the three years since Shanley was arrested on child sex charges, two of the four alleged victims have spoken publicly about the case and were routinely identified in news reports. A third alleged victim has occasionally been identified. The fourth was never named.

Over the past year, prosecutors dropped two alleged victims from the case, and plan to drop a third, leaving just one accuser when Shanley goes on trial Jan. 18.

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2005 01:43 PM