January 27, 2005

Shanley accuser: I always lost: Alleges priest abused him during strip ‘War’ games

Boston Herald

By Marie Szaniszlo
Thursday, January 27, 2005

Shadowed for years by allegations that he molested boys, defrocked priest Paul Shanley faced one of his accusers in criminal court for the first time yesterday in nearly four hours of testimony that left his alleged victim in tears.

``Oh my God,'' the man whispered, his head suddenly down, inhaling deeply, as Deputy First Assistant District Attorney Lynn Rooney asked him to describe what happened at St. Jean's parish in Newton between 1983 and 1989, when he was between 6 and 12.

Moments earlier, the alleged victim, now a 27-year-old firefighter, had seemed the image of boyish confidence as he described his courtship with his wife and a promising Air Force career.

That career came to an abrupt end in the spring of 2002 when he began having flashbacks, he said yesterday in Middlesex Superior Court. The flashbacks came after he learned of media reports of sexual-abuse allegations a former classmate had brought against Shanley.

The firefighter, whose name the Herald is withholding because the man is an alleged sexual-assault victim, described being pulled out of Sunday school class and into the church bathroom.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2005 07:51 AM