The Rev. Paul R. Shanley made his reputation as a Boston "street priest" in the 1960s and 70s -- a crusader for runaways and drifters, drug addicts, and teenagers struggling with questions about their sexual identity.
But those who turned to Shanley for comfort and guidance often found themselves in the clutches of a sexual predator. Thousands of pages of documents show that church officials knew of numerous sexual abuse allegations against Shanley and that the priest had publicly advocated sex between men and boys. Despite this, Shanley was shuttled from parish to parish in the Boston Archdiocese, and eventually transferred to a California church with a letter of recommendation from one of Cardinal Bernard Law's top deputies.
In May 2002, Shanley was arrested in San Diego, where he had been living, and returned to Massachusetts to face 10 counts of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery stemming from his assignment at a Newton parish in the 1980s.
After seven months in prison, Shanley was released on $300,000 bail in December. He is living in Provincetown while awaiting trial.
See the story list to the left for the latest coverage of the Shanley case.
The Rev. Paul R. Shanley appears in a San Diego courtroom shortly after his arrest. (Photo / Bob Grieser)
Gregory Ford, an alleged Shanley victim, and his mother at a press conference. (Globe Staff Photo / Jonathan Wiggs)