January 23, 2005

Storm forces delay of trial for former priest

San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, January 23, 2005

(01-23) 14:51 PST BOSTON (AP) --

Gov. Mitt Romney told non-essential state workers in nine eastern Massachusetts counties to stay home on Monday, including employees at the Cambridge courthouse where a high-profile clergy sex abuse cases was set to begin.

Romney's announcement meant that the trial of defrocked priest Paul Shanley, one of the highest-profile figures to go to trial in the Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, would not begin in Middlesex Superior Court as scheduled. The jury was selected last week, and opening statements in the trial of the former priest were set to begin at 9 a.m. on Monday.

Shanley, 73, is accused of child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Allegations against him were among the hundreds of clergy sex abuse lawsuits settled by the Archdiocese of Boston.

Judge Stephen Neel instructed jurors to be prepared to start the trial at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, said Paul Melaragni, spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley.

Posted by kshaw at January 23, 2005 06:49 PM