January 28, 2005

Shanley accuser to judge: ‘Please don't make me'

Boston Herald

By Marie Szaniszlo
Friday, January 28, 2005

After a second day of intense cross-examination, the only alleged victim to force defrocked priest Paul Shanley to face child-rape charges to date begged a judge yesterday not to compel him to continue testifying.

``Please don't make me,'' the accuser, now a 27-year-old firefighter, said to Middlesex Superior Court Judge Stephen Neel. ``I can't start over again.''

In a statement released shortly afterward, the Middlesex District Attorney's Office said the man would take the stand again today. If he does not, the defense could request a mistrial, a potential death blow to a case that began with four accusers and now hinges on one.

All four men alleged that Shanley, now 74, raped them in the 1980s, when they took Sunday school classes at St. Jean's parish in Newton. In July, charges brought by two of the men were dropped, and last week, prosecutors dropped charges involving a third, who vomited after a grueling hearing last October and never contacted them again.

Yesterday, Shanley's sole remaining accuser was at turns defiant and distraught as defense attorney Frank Mondano hammered away at his memory and motives.

Posted by kshaw at January 28, 2005 09:11 AM