January 26, 2005

Shanley accuser to testify today

Boston Globe

By and Joanna Weiss, Globe Staff | January 26, 2005

He was adored by his parishioners, revered in the Boston area, a prosecutor acknowledged yesterday. But to a 6-year-old Newton Sunday school student in 1983, the Rev. Paul R. Shanley represented a dark and terrible threat: a man who would pull him from class and rape him in the rectory or bathroom or confessional, admonishing him that "if you tell, no one will believe you."

"Everybody loved him; he was the heart and soul of St. Jean's Parish," Assistant Middlesex District Attorney Lynn C. Rooney said of Shanley yesterday in the opening arguments of the defrocked priest's child rape trial. "But there was another side to Father Paul."

But Shanley's lawyer, Frank Mondano, said the stories about Shanley's abuse were "orchestrated by the personal injury lawyers in this court."

Mondano contended that Shanley's accuser made up the allegations to get in on the multimillion-dollar settlements for victims in the Boston Archdiocese's clergy sex abuse scandal.

Opening arguments in yesterday's long-anticipated trial centered on the victim's accounts of abuse, which he says stemmed from memories he had repressed until a few years ago, and the defense's challenges to his credibility. The Boston Globe does not name victims of sexual abuse without their consent. The alleged victim is expected to take the stand today.

Posted by kshaw at January 26, 2005 06:51 AM