February 14, 2005

Inmate advocates worry about Shanley's safety in prison


By Denise Lavoie
12:40 p.m. February 14, 2005

BOSTON As defrocked priest Paul Shanley faces sentencing on child rape charges, inmate advocates are worried that sending him to prison could amount to a death sentence for a man who was at the very center of the Boston Archdiocese sex scandal.

After all, another key figure in the scandal, former priest John Geoghan, was beaten and strangled behind bars in 2003, a year after he was convicted of molesting a 10-year-old boy. A fellow inmate told investigators he killed Geoghan "to save the children."

Some are worried that the 74-year-old Shanley could be the next mark for an inmate.

"He's so high-profile that that puts a big target on his back," said James Pingeon, an attorney at Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services, which represents inmates. "We feel concerned. Obviously he's a vulnerable person because of his notoriety and his age."

Posted by kshaw at February 14, 2005 05:29 PM