NBC Bay Area
By Alysha Palumbo
A former priest at the center of Boston’s Roman Catholic priest sex abuse scandal was quietly released from prison Friday morning after completing a 12-year sentence for the rape of a boy in the 1980s.
Paul Shanley, 86, was released from the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, prison officials said. He plans to live in an apartment in Ware, a town of about 10,000 people about 65 miles west of Boston, according to the state’s sex offender registry.
Prosecutors opposed his release, and several men who say they were abused by him when they were young called on the public to help them track his whereabouts. They said they are concerned Shanley will reoffend.
The registry designates Shanley a Level 3 offender, considered the most likely to reoffend. But two psychologists hired by state prosecutors cited Shanley’s advanced age and his health issues in concluding that his likelihood to reoffend is low. The contradiction was cited by sexual abuse victims and their advocates.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented dozens of men who said they were abused by Shanley, said the evaluations by the two psychologists were incomplete because they didn’t interview Shanley. Instead, they reviewed police reports, prosecutors’ files and Shanley’s church personnel file containing numerous sexual abuse complaints against him.
“The fact that neither expert spoke to Paul Shanley leaves a hole in the report you could drive a trailer truck through,” Garabedian said.
“Paul Shanley should be in a hospital being treated and not in the outside world where he can easily gain access to innocent children,” he said.
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