November 6, 2020
By Shelley Murphy
Paul R. Shanley, a defrocked priest and convicted child rapist who became one of the most notorious figures in the Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse scandal, died of heart failure on Oct. 28 at a Ware hospice facility, according to state officials.
The 89-year-old had been living in Ware since his release from prison three years ago after serving 12 years for repeatedly raping a boy in the 1980s.
“Children are now safer because of the passing of Paul Shanley,” said Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented dozens of Shanley’s victims in civil claims against the church and described him as “one of the poster boys of clergy sexual abuse throughout the United States and the world.”
Garabedian said Shanley’s victims feel cheated because he died a free man and church supervisors who failed to stop him from preying on victims were never prosecuted.
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