Accuser Misses Sex Abuse Hearing

Associated Press, carried in Daily News Tribune [Cambridge MA]
September 12, 2004

One of two remaining accusers in the Paul Shanley rape case did not appear in court Friday for a pretrial hearing, but prosecutors said they expected the accuser to remain in the case.

Shanley's defense attorney, Frank Mondano, questioned whether the accuser was going to "stay the course" in the case.

But district attorney's spokesman Tim St. Laurent told the Boston Herald, "The charges do stand and we will go forward."

The 73-year-old defrocked priest was a key figure in the church sex abuse scandal that began in Boston in 2002.

Shanley is currently facing six rape charges and four charges of indecent assault. Prosecutors in July dropped several charges brought by accusers Anthony Driscoll and Gregory Ford.

Also Friday, the judge postponed Shanley's trial from October until mid-January. Attorneys on both sides said the postponement was the result of a scheduling conflict and had nothing to do with the accuser's failure to appear.

The hearing had been scheduled to determine whether the accuser's recall of the alleged abuse by Shanley is consistent with prosecutors' theory of the case.

Prosecutors are expected to rely in the case mostly on testimony from alleged victim Paul Busa and the unnamed accuser.

Church records showed Shanley was transferred from parish to parish even as allegations of sexual abuse surfaced.

Records also have shown that Shanley, known as an iconoclastic "street preacher," attended a 1978 forum in Boston, after which some participants went on to form the North American Man-Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA. He resigned from parish work in 1989 and moved to California, where he was arrested in 2002. He was released on $300,000 bail last December.


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