January 26, 2005

Man Weeps in Court Recalling Rape by Ex-Priest


By Greg Frost
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - A 27-year-old firefighter wept in court on Wednesday as he testified how defrocked priest Paul Shanley, a key figure in the U.S. Catholic Church abuse scandal, raped him and taught him to perform oral sex, starting when he was just six years old.

In dramatic testimony on the second day of the former priest's trial on charges of child rape and indecent assault and battery, the accuser sat just a few yards from Shanley and choked back tears.

The man said Shanley had taken him out of weekly religion classes at a Boston-area church and had abused him in a bathroom, in the front pews of the church and even in the confessional where Catholics normally admit their sins.

"Sometimes he would kneel down and try to teach me how to perform oral sex," said the accuser, who reckoned the abuse began in 1983 when he was six and went on until 1989.

He also recalled the painful process of recovering memories of the abuse early in 2002 as a clergy abuse scandal was rocking the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by kshaw at January 26, 2005 03:07 PM