January 27, 2005

Accuser Testifies at Trial of Ex-Priest in Abuse Case

Herald Tribune

New York Times
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 26 - A 27-year-old who has accused a defrocked Boston priest of molesting him 20 years ago took the witness stand on Wednesday and testified that the defendant, Paul R. Shanley, sexually abused him in the church bathroom, the pews, a confession room and the rectory.

In the bathroom, the accuser testified, Mr. Shanley "unzipped my pants," and, "if I had to go to the bathroom, he'd watch me go to bathroom."

Then, he said, Mr. Shanley would touch him, and "sometimes he would kneel down and try to teach me how to perform oral sex."

The testimony from the sometimes-teary accuser, a barrel-chested firefighter in a Boston suburb, came on the second day of the trial of Mr. Shanley, who became a lightning rod when the sexual abuse scandal erupted three years ago in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

In cross-examination, Mr. Shanley's lawyer, Frank Mondano, tried to discredit the accuser by pointing out inconsistencies in his statements and memory and by suggesting that his history of other troubles, including problems with his parents and his behavior in high school, raised questions about his credibility.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2005 07:47 AM