Psychologists didn’t interview Paul Shanley before OK’ing his release

Boston Herald

Jennifer Miller Friday, July 28, 2017

Convicted child rapist and former Catholic priest Paul Shanley — released from a Massachusetts prison today — was never interviewed by the two state-contracted psychologists who determined that, thanks to his advanced age and medical status, he did not meet the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person, a Herald review of their evaluations found.

“Mr. Shanley is now 86 years of age, and current research would suggest that recidivism rates for sexual offending by individuals that age are extremely low,” psychologist Mark Schaefer wrote in his report.

“Mr. Shanley . … would benefit from treatment,” psychologist Katrin Rouse Weir wrote in her report. “. … However, his age and his health impact his ability to act out on his sexual arousal and his interest in sexual matters,”

Shanley was released from Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater early this morning after completing a 12-year sentence for the rape of a boy in the 1980s. The state’s sex offender registry lists Shanley as a Level 3 offender, meaning he is most likely to re-offend, and states he will be living in an apartment in the small town of Ware in western Massachusetts. He will remain on probation for 10 years.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office hired Schaefer and Weir to evaluate Shanley to see if he met the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person. Both found he did not, according to their reports, which were released by the Middlesex DA’s office today.

Meghan Kelly, spokeswoman for the Middlesex DA’s office, confirmed today that neither clinician spoke to Shanley before writing their reports.

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