January 19, 2005

Jury selection continues in Shanley rape trial


By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, 1/19/2005 11:16

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) Potential jurors were questioned about their views on the Catholic Church and whether they had been victims of sexual abuse as the child rape trial began for defrocked priest Paul Shanley.

Seven jurors were seated by late Wednesday morning, among them a man who is Catholic and does landscaping at his church. Others were sent home because they'd seen pretrial media coverage and didn't think they could be objective.

Twelve jurors and four alternates will hear the case against Shanley, one of the most notorious figures in the clergy sex abuse scandal. He is accused of child rape and indecent assault and battery of a child and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The criminal case against Shanley now hinges on the allegations of a single alleged victim after prosecutors formally dropped another accuser on Tuesday. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled for Monday.

Posted by kshaw at January 19, 2005 12:02 PM