January 26, 2005

Accuser: Shanley said no one would believe me

Boston Herald

By Marie Szaniszlo
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Week after week, from the time he was 6 until he was 12, Paul Shanley's alleged victim sat in Sunday school, ``waiting, dreading, afraid'' of being raped by the priest in the bathroom, the rectory, even the chuch confessional, prosecutors said yesterday.

Not until Shanley left St. Jean's parish in Newton in January 1990 did the abuse end, Deputy First Assistant District Attorney Lynn Rooney told jurors. But the boy remained bound by a code of silence: ``If you tell,'' Shanley allegedly told him, ``no one will believe you.''

On the first day of testimony in the defrocked priest's child-rape trial, Kathleen Bennett, a substitute Sunday school teacher at St. Jean's in the 1980s, described the children's reaction whenever he would ``pop in.''

``Oh, my God, the kids would just freeze,'' she said.

Posted by kshaw at January 26, 2005 05:49 AM