Doctors: Paul Shanley not likely to reoffend because of his advanced age, exile from church

Boston Globe

By Michael Levenson GLOBE STAFF JULY 28, 2017

The two psychologists who cleared Paul R. Shanley for release from prison on Friday found that, despite his long history of pedophilia, the notorious former priest is not likely to reoffend because he is 86 and no longer holds a position of authority over children in the church.

The psychologists’ opinions were revealed in reports that they wrote to the Middlesex district attorney’s office, which partially redacted them and released them on Friday in response to a public records request from the Globe.

Shanley was one of the most detested figures to emerge during the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis more than a decade ago. A so-called “street priest,” he is alleged to have abused dozens of victims over three decades, many of them children and teenagers who came to him for counseling. He was released from prison Friday after serving 12 years behind bars for raping a boy at a Newton church in the 1980s. …

The psychologists, Katrin Rouse Weir and Mark Schaefer, found that Shanley remains a pedophile, with a sexual interest in boys ages 6 to 12, which would meet the statutory definition of a “mental abnormality.”

But both psychologists said Shanley’s sexual interest in children is mitigated by his age, which research shows is associated with a greatly diminished sex drive.

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