February 03, 2005

Jury gets case in Shanley priest-abuse trial


By Denise Lavoie
1:34 p.m. February 3, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A jury on Thursday began deliberating the fate of defrocked priest Paul Shanley, who is charged with raping a boy at his church outside Boston in the 1980s.

The jury got the case after lawyers clashed over the validity of the repressed memories Shanley's accuser said came to him three years ago, when the Boston church abuse scandal broke.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for all of 30 minutes before the judge sent them home for the day. They were to return Friday.

The defense earlier presented a sole witness: a psychologist who argued that some people's repressed memories are really false.

Shanley's lawyer said the accuser's claims of sexual abuse were lies orchestrated by personal injury lawyers.

But prosecutor Lynn Rooney said the accuser had no reason to lie, particularly since he was required to endure three days of intense questioning on the witness stand.

Posted by kshaw at February 3, 2005 06:06 PM