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Rev. Shanley arrives in Massachusetts
More documents to be turned over; Arraignment set for tomorrow
By Ron DePasquale, Associated Press, 05/06/02
NEWTON, Mass. -- A retired priest charged with raping a boy in his parish for seven years arrived in Boston Monday night and was escorted to the Newton Police Department, wearing a bullet-proof vest.
The Rev. Paul Shanley, who exited the police car with apparent difficulty, was expected to spend the night in a Newton police cell. He will be arraigned on three counts of raping a child at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Newton District Court, which is now sitting in Cambridge.
Shanley waived his right in a hearing last week to contest extradition to Massachusetts. Prosecutors in Middlesex County accused him of raping the boy between 1983 and 1990 in St. Jean Parish in Newton, where Shanley served until the church transferred him to California.
Seth Horwitz, a spokesman for Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley, refused to offer comment on Shanley's arrival. Newton police also refused comment.
Shanley, 71, who has advocated sex between men and boys, was arrested Thursday at his San Diego apartment. Police had been searching for him for weeks.
Prosecutors said Shanley allegedly took the boy out of religion classes and sexually abused him in a bathroom, the rectory or a confessional.
The victim came forward to file the first criminal complaint against Shanley after reading news reports that showed the archdiocese knew of allegations against him, Coakley said.
The district attorney said she believes Shanley abused numerous children, but the statute of limitations has expired on many of the claims.
Documents recently released by court order in a civil lawsuit show that despite dozens of allegations that Shanley abused children, church officials in Boston moved him from parish to parish and did not warn the Diocese of San Bernardino when he was moved there in 1990.
Since his retirement in 1993, he had lived a quiet life in San Diego, serving as a volunteer for the police department. He was fired from that job in April.
Coakley on Monday announced her resignation from Cardinal Bernard Law's special task force on child abuse Monday, saying "my responsibilities as district attorney are my primary focus."
Law formed the 15-member Cardinal's Commission for the Protection of Children to examine abuse policies and advise on matters from psychological screening priest candidates victim outreach.
"Given recent disclosures related to Father Paul Shanley, I feel that in order to eliminate even the appearance of conflict it is best that I resign from the Commission effective today," Coakley said in a letter written to commission chairwoman Maureen Bateman.
As the retired priest was flown from San Diego, Calif. to Boston's Logan Airport Monday, the civil attorney representing his alleged victims said he was "dumbfounded" by a new batch of documents about Shanley found by the Archdiocese of Boston on Monday.
Attorney Roderick MacLeish, who represents alleged sexual abuse victims of Shanley in a civil suit, said the archdiocese is withholding the new documents until Friday.
"It's beyond reprehensible," MacLeish said. "Every day brings new damaging news that hurts not just the archdiocese, but victims, good priests and lay Catholics. This has got to end."
An archdiocese spokesman declined comment. More than 1,600 documents in Shanley's case have already been turned over.
MacLeish vowed to fight for immediate disclosure of the documents Tuesday.
© Copyright 2002 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing Inc.