January 27, 2005

Shanley's Lawyer Cross-Examines Accuser


Friday January 28, 2005 1:31 AM

Associated Press Writer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - After a grueling second day of intense and graphic questioning by a defense lawyer, the man who has accused defrocked priest Paul Shanley of raping him as a child broke down on the witness stand Thursday and begged the judge not to force him to continue testifying.

``I can't do this again,'' the man said, his shoulders slumped and his head down as Shanley's attorney asked graphic questions about the nature of the alleged abuse. ``I can't start over again.''

At one point during the questioning, the accuser loudly sobbed as he clasped his hands behind his head and pressed his forehead against the rail of the witness stand.

Frank Mondano, Shanley's attorney, has spent the past two days seeking to undermine the accuser's credibility, grilling him about his troubled childhood, his abuse of alcohol and steroids, his gambling habit - and his motivation for coming forward with what he says are repressed memories of the alleged abuse.

Mondano has said the man made up his story to cash in on the multimillion-dollar settlements paid to victims of abuse by priests in Boston's Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

The accuser, now a 27-year-old firefighter, says Shanley raped and molested him at a parish outside Boston beginning when he was 6. He didn't remember the abuse until early 2002, when he heard a friend's account of being abused as a boy by Shanley.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2005 08:18 PM