January 27, 2005

Emotional accuser tells of alleged abuse by Shanley

Boston Globe

By Joanna Weiss, Globe Staff | January 27, 2005

CAMBRIDGE -- He is thickly built and tough looking, a firefighter who prefers football to baseball and described Air Force boot camp as ''awesome." But when a prosecutor's queries summoned memories from Sunday school in the early 1980s, he began to cry.

Who was it, the prosecutor asked the alleged abuse victim, that used to meet him in the boys room of St. Jean's Church in Newton? Twice the man pointed, without speaking, at the balding man at the defense table in Middlesex Superior Court. Finally, he stammered, ''Shanley."

In the second day of testimony in Paul R. Shanley's child-rape trial yesterday, the defrocked priest's 27-year-old accuser took the witness stand and gave graphic accounts of the alleged abuse in a halting voice, often covering his face with his hands.

He described what he said were clandestine meetings with the priest on scattered Sunday mornings: in the bathroom, the church rectory, the pews, and the confessional. He said Shanley touched him, watched him urinate, and occasionally performed oral sex on him to ''teach me" how to do it.

But in a combative cross-examination yesterday afternoon, Shanley's lawyer, Frank Mondano, challenged the man's credibility, pointing out lapses in his memory and discrepancies between yesterday's testimony and a deposition he gave in April 2002 in a civil suit against the Boston Archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2005 07:58 AM