February 19, 2005

Robbery suspect seeks leniency, citing past clergy sex abuse

Dateline Alabama

The Associated Press

February 19, 2005

A man charged with robbing two banks is requesting a lenient sentence, claiming sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest set him on a life of crime, according to a published report.

Paul Callahan, 32, claims he was abused by the Rev. Robert Burns when he was an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Boston's Jamaica Plain section. Soon after, he began drinking, using drugs, and committing crimes, he said.

Callahan's lawyer, Robert E. Kelley, wrote to the court that his client did not use weapons in his crimes and that he did not rob for violence or money. At the time of his latest alleged crimes, Callahan had $83,000 in the bank, mostly from a settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2005 03:49 PM