February 08, 2005

Shanley Juror: Victim Was Convincing


POSTED: 6:52 am EST February 8, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- For weeks, jurors in the trial of Paul Shanley listened carefully to tense exchanges between Shanley's accuser and the former priest's lawyer, conflicting opinions from doctors about memory, and the recollections of the man's classmates.

In the end, the jury decided that the now-frail, 74-year-old former "street priest" should go to prison for raping and sexually assaulting the child decades ago, ending a chapter in what became one of the most-watched and notorious clergy abuse cases.

Juror Victoria Blier said she and her fellow jurors were swayed by the memories of the one man whose testimony proved pivotal for Shanley's prosecution, believing that the man would not have come forward if he wasn't telling the truth.

"I think a persuasive sentiment was he had already gotten a half million dollar settlement and he had no reason whatsoever to pursue this criminal case, and he knew that pursuing the criminal case was going to lay a painful life bare," she said.

Posted by kshaw at February 8, 2005 07:26 AM