February 15, 2005

Former Priest Is Sentenced to 12 to 15 Years in Rape

The New York Times


Published: February 16, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 15 - Paul R. Shanley, a defrocked priest who became a reviled symbol of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in Boston, was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 to 15 years in prison for raping a boy 20 years ago in the suburban church where he was pastor.

In a crowded courtroom that included people who said they had been abused by Mr. Shanley or other priests, Judge Stephen A. Neel of Middlesex Superior Court said, "It is difficult to imagine a more egregious misuse of trust and authority than that which occurred in this case."

The judge said Mr. Shanley "used his position to enable his sexual abuse, on Sunday mornings, of a young C.C.D. student," referring to the former student's assertion that Mr. Shanley had pulled him out of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes to orally and digitally rape him in the church's bathroom, pews, confessional and rectory from the time he was 6 until he was 9.

Mr. Shanley, 74, was one of the few priests in the abuse scandal to face a criminal trial because accusations against many other priests involved events that happened too long ago to be prosecuted. Known as a charismatic advocate for troubled adolescents in the 1970's, Mr. Shanley was convicted last week on two counts of child rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child.

Posted by kshaw at February 15, 2005 09:05 PM