February 04, 2005

2 Sides Finish at the Trial of Ex-Priest in Abuse Case

The New York Times


Published: February 4, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 3 - The lawyer for Paul R. Shanley, a defrocked priest accused of sexual abuse, told a jury in closing arguments on Thursday that the accuser, now a 27-year-old firefighter, either had false memories of fictitious abuse or invented the accusations to win a suit.

"There isn't reasonable doubt in this case," the lawyer, Frank Mondano, said. "There is massive doubt in this case."

The prosecutor countered in her closing that the lack of specificity lent the accusations veracity.

"If it was all a lie, it would have been a better one," the prosecutor, Lynn Rooney, said. "If it was all made up, wouldn't it have been better scripted? Wouldn't there have been more detail?"

The jury began deliberating and went home after half an hour. Earlier, Judge Stephen A. Neel of Middlesex Superior Court, had instructed the seven men and five women on the jury that there was no direct evidence to support one of the accuser's main contentions, that as a boy he was sent out of his Christian doctrine class when he misbehaved.

Posted by kshaw at February 4, 2005 05:20 AM