Jailed priest back in Sandwich

Cape Cod Times/January 20, 2010

Sandwich - A defrocked Roman Catholic priest, part of a sex scandal that rocked the Archdiocese of Boston, is back living in a Sandwich neighborhood.

Paul W. Hurley, 66, of 48 Old Fields Road, Sandwich, returned Friday to the South Sandwich neighborhood where he lived before being sent to prison on a rape conviction in 2006, the police said.

Now listed as a Level 3 sex offender, the type considered most likely to re-offend, the Sandwich police canvassed the neighborhood off Farmersville Road Saturday with 75 posters alerting neighbors to Hurley's return, Lt. David Guillemette said yesterday.

The neighborhood is filled with Cape and colonial-style homes with swing sets, basketball hoops and kids' bicycles. A house diagonally across from Hurley's has a baby swing hanging from a tree limb.

Hurley did not answer a knock at his door yesterday, and the phone number listed to him at that address is out of service. An unregistered Buick was in the driveway.

Hurley has owned the Cape house, valued at $223,500, since 1984, according to town and county records.

Neighbors have mixed feelings about his return.

"I'm very concerned," said the father of an 8-year-old girl who lives several doors away. "It's hard to think that someone like that is living on this street with so many kids," said the father, who declined to give his name.

But another neighbor, Bill Davidson, said he's not worried about Hurley. "We knew him before he went away (to prison)," he said. "We don't think he's a threat."

In 2002, Hurley was charged with two counts of rape, according to the Times archives. He was convicted of repeatedly raping a 15-year-old boy, then a resident of South Boston, in 1987 and 1988 in the rectory at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Cambridge.

Hurley reportedly paid the boy for oral sex and some of the incidents may have occurred on trips to the Cape, according to published reports.

"The trial and conviction of Fr. Paul W. Hurley serves as a painful reminder of the harm and suffering survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their loved ones have endured," church officials said in a statement at the time of his conviction.

In 2002, the Boston Globe reported that Hurley was restored as pastor of the Cambridge church even after another priest raised concerns about him having boys sleep over at the rectory.

Hurley is one of two Level 3 sex offenders now living in Sandwich, Guillemette said. The police have information on Hurley on file at the station for anyone who did not receive it during the department's canvassing of the Old Fields neighborhood, he said.

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