He was a priest central to the ‘Spotlight’ child sex abuse scandal. Now he’s a free man.

Washington Post

By Alex Horton July 29

Phil Saviano, an advocate for sexual assault victims, had a list of Boston-area clergymen alleged to have raped young boys. And it was growing.

He created a New England chapter of a support group for people who said they had been abused by priests and drew up the list of alleged offenders, along with other data points, beginning in 1997.

One of the names kept coming up in discussions: Paul Shanley.

Shanley was a well-respected clergyman nicknamed the “Street Priest” for his habit of roaming dangerous neighborhoods to help troubled youths. But he also secretly used the anonymity of vulnerable, wayward boys as a weapon and a shield.

Shanley, 86, was released from state prison Friday after serving a 12-year sentence for the rape and indecent assault of a boy in a Massachusetts church in the 1980s. He was defrocked by the Vatican in 2004 and convicted the following year.

“The fact he was sent away for 12 years was a triumph for the survivor community,” Saviano told The Washington Post.

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