McGovern: Clinicians let pedophile priest walk without in-person meet

Boston Herald

Bob McGovern Saturday, July 29, 2017

The two state-contracted psychologists who determined that convicted child rapist and former Catholic priest Paul Shanley did not need to be civilly confined never looked into the aging predator’s eyes.

State law doesn’t require it, and a former top prosecutor says potentially sexually dangerous people should be required to speak to the clinicians who will determine whether they are still a threat to themselves and society.

“This is to make sure that this person isn’t going to have the same proclivities and inclinations they did that landed them in jail in the first place,” said former Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone. “It doesn’t bother me that they would be required to aid in the assessment.”

Marian Ryan, the current Middlesex district attorney, brought in psychologists Mark Schaefer and Katrin Rouse Weir to determine whether Shanley met the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person. However, neither of them spoke to Shanley during the evaluation process.

“I did not interview Mr. Shanley,” wrote Weir in her report, dated July 24. “He cannot be compelled to meet with me at this stage in the statutorily defined process.”

The evaluation by Schaefer, dated July 26, makes no reference to any interview of Shanley. Meghan Kelly, spokeswoman for the Middlesex DA’s office, confirmed that neither clinician spoke to Shanley before writing their reports.

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