January 27, 2005

Accuser Says Abuse Went on for Years

New York Newsday

By Elizabeth Mehren
Times Staff Writer

January 27, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Taking the stand against a central figure in Boston's clerical abuse scandal, a 27-year-old firefighter tearfully testified Wednesday that former priest Paul Shanley had repeatedly molested him in a church bathroom, rectory, pews and confessional.

The man who asked not to be named publicly said the abuse began when he was 6 years old and enrolled in religious education classes at St. Jean's Roman Catholic Church. Shanley, he testified, continued to molest him at the church in Newton, Mass., until he was about 12.

While in the bathroom, the accuser said, the priest "would kneel down and try to teach me how to perform oral sex." In the confessional, "we would just talk about all the sins a second-grader could have," the man said. And then, he testified, Shanley would digitally penetrate him.

During cross-examination, defense lawyer Frank Mondano sought to discredit memories that the accuser said he had repressed for 15 years. His account, the lawyer noted, bore striking resemblance to those offered by three other alleged Shanley victims who either withdrew from the case voluntarily or were dropped by prosecutors.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2005 07:26 AM