‘Street priest’ took major role in scandal

Boston Herald

Paul Shanley, once known as a “street priest” who reached out to young people, became a prominent face in the massive clergy abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in Boston and worldwide.

Shanley, 86, was released from prison yesterday after serving 12 years for the rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child at a Newton parish in the 1980s. While he was only convicted of abusing one boy, nearly two dozen other men came forward to say they too were victimized by Shanley as allegations of widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic church emerged in the early 2000s.

Shanley was convicted in 2005 and sentenced to 12 to 15 years instead of the life sentence requested by then-Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley. Shanley appealed the decision, calling into question the victim’s recollection of his abuse through repressed memories, but that was denied.

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