July 28, 2017
Paul Shanley, a Boston priest notorious for his role in the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal, was released from prison on Friday morning.
He was convicted in 2005 of repeatedly raping a boy over a number of years in the 1980s.
Shanley was one of the first priests to go to prison for abuse as the scandal began to unfold more than a decade ago; the statute of limitations had been frozen in Shanley’s case because Shanley, 86, served 12 years of a 12- to 15-year sentence, and was released for good behavior. He will be on supervised probation for 10 years.
Some of Shanley’s other alleged victims have voiced dismay that the defrocked priest is going to be released into the community. But Massachusetts authorities say they can’t detain him.
“The commonwealth is not legally permitted to seek that Shanley be confined further without expert testimony that he meets the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person,” Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement, Reuters reports.
“This is a guy, Shanley, who has manipulated the system, the church, and the public, and knows how to manipulate people,” said John Harris, 59, who says he was raped by Shanley in 1979 at a retreat the priest had created for gay people, according to the Globe. “I’m concerned he’s going to abuse again.”
“If Paul Shanley doesn’t qualify as a sexually dangerous person, then nobody will ever qualify,” said Carmen Durso, an attorney who represented many Shanley victims, the Globe reported.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.