January 28, 2005

Ex-priest’s accuser testifies


The Associated Press
Updated: 1:08 p.m. ET Jan. 28, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The man accusing defrocked priest Paul Shanley of sexually abusing him as a child finished his testimony Friday after the judge refused to spare him from a third day of questioning.

The man adamantly stood by his claims of abuse before stepping down from the stand after 10 hours of testimony, much of it under grueling cross-examination by Shanley’s attorney, Frank Mondano.

Late Thursday, with the jury out of the room, the man told the judge that he could not bear to continue answering Mondano’s intense and sometimes graphic questions. But the man returned Friday to resume his testimony.

His breakdown raised the specter that the case would collapse, because he is the lone remaining accuser in the case against Shanley, 74, one of the central figures in the Boston archdiocese’s clergy sex-abuse scandal. Three other accusers were dropped from the case by prosecutors.

Friday, before the jury entered the courtroom, Mondano asked Judge Stephen Neel to declare a mistrial, contending that the man’s emotional outbursts during his testimony would taint jurors and prejudice them against his client. Neel rejected the request.

Posted by kshaw at January 28, 2005 01:03 PM