January 28, 2005

Anger, tears from Shanley accuser

Boston Globe

By Joanna Weiss, Globe Staff | January 28, 2005

CAMBRIDGE -- It was about 5 o'clock when the judge presiding over Paul R. Shanley's child rape trial turned to the accuser on the witness stand and made a request. Jurors had to leave for the day, the judge said. Could he return to court in the morning to finish his testimony?

''Please don't make me," the man replied. ''I can't do this again. I can't start again."

The dramatic exchange, which took place without the jury present, capped a withering daylong cross-examination of Shanley's accuser, marked by sarcastic exchanges, tears, and vigorous challenges of his accounts of being ruined by the abuse.

Over seven hours, defense lawyer Frank Mondano challenged the accuser's memories and his contention that being abused by Shanley, 74, led to many troubles in his life, from alcohol abuse as a teenager to failing to become a Major League baseball player. Mondano suggested that the man was seeking attention from the Shanley case and hadn't suffered as he contends he has.

The alleged victim, 27, accuses Shanley of repeatedly raping and abusing him between ages 6 and 11, when he was a Sunday school student at St. Jean Parish in Newton. He says he recovered memories of the abuse in 2001, after hearing of news reports about Boston's clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Mondano has challenged the authenticity of those memories and is trying to persuade the jury that the charges against Shanley are motivated by hope of monetary gain. The accuser was awarded a $500,000 settlement after he brought a civil suit against the Boston Archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at January 28, 2005 03:40 AM