Boston Priest Allegedly Paid to Rape Boys

New York Times/July 22, 2003

Boston -- New court documents contain the most graphic evidence to date against the Rev. Paul R. Shanley, a central figure in the scandal that has engulfed the Boston archdiocese.

The court papers filed Monday by attorneys for alleged victims include claims that Shanley paid to rape and molest teenage boys, and sometimes shared them with other men -- including at least one other Roman Catholic priest.

The Boston Globe reported that one of the 21 alleged victims who filed affidavits in the papers was a 53-year-old Boston-area CEO who claimed he was abused by Shanley 37 years ago.

The executive, identified in the papers as "John Doe," alleges that no one from the archdiocese questioned him about the abuse after he told a priest, The Globe reported.

The testimony may help bolster victims' claims that church officials ignored allegations against Shanley for as many as 27 years before he was removed from parish ministry.

The documents filed Monday include a roughly 220-page brief previewing the civil case that attorneys for Gregory Ford and his family plan to present at trial in their lawsuit against the Boston archdiocese, Cardinal Bernard Law, New Hampshire Bishop John McCormack and other key figures in the scandal.

Ford is suing over abuse he allegedly suffered when he was a young parishioner. Shanley is also facing criminal charges for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting four men.

No dates have been set for either the civil trial or the criminal trial. Shanley has pleaded innocent.

One alleged victim said in an affidavit that a man he met as a teen through his church would send him to Shanley, who would molest him and send him back with an envelope of money, some of which the boy would keep.

The "deliveries" continued over many years, according to the affidavit. When the alleged victim was 17, he said, the priest began taking him to bars, and would bring the teenager for games of spin-the-bottle with groups of older men.

"I did not want to have anything to do with them, but if I didn't show up for the meetings which he arranged for me, he would become totally enraged and threatened me with physical harm," wrote the alleged victim, who was not named.

In another affidavit, a 46-year old man now in prison claims that Shanley and another priest molested him at the same time. The man also alleged that when he was a teen, Shanley brought him to a monastery, where Shanley would share the boy and his cousin with other men.

The Boston-area CEO said he was molested by Shanley when the priest served at St. Patrick's Parish and elementary school in Stoneham in the 1960s, The Globe reported.

After Shanley abused him, he said he told his parents, and then spoke to Rev. Raoul Chabot, a priest at Attleboro's Our Lady of La Salette, according to the report.

Archdiocese records show that Chabot shared the allegations with the archdiocese, but church officials accepted Shanley's denial of the incident and closed the case, the report said.

Frank Mondano, an attorney representing Shanley in the criminal case, said he could not address specific allegations contained in the civil proceedings, but denied claims made in the affidavits were true.

"I'm reasonably confident that if we broke them all down, we would be able to deny them all," he said. "We simply can't go out and defend against every allegation that comes down the pike."

The archdiocese on Monday asked that the Fords' attorneys not be allowed to expand the scope of the trial beyond Ford's allegations, and challenged the admissibility of "recovered memory" of abuse, said the Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

Coyne declined to comment on the allegations contained in the Fords' filing.

"We're just seeking to follow the normal course and the normal expected practice in law in coming to a just and equitable conclusion to the cases," he said.

Church attorney Wilson Rogers III did not return a telephone call Monday.

In a related matter, Attorney General Tom Reilly's office announced that a report on clergy abuse will be released to the public on Wednesday. The report concludes that criminal charges against the archdiocese are not warranted, but also includes extensive evaluation of how church officials handled the scandal.

The archdiocese is facing about 500 civil suits from alleged victims of clergy sex abuse. Church officials have repeatedly said they remain committed to working toward an out-of-court settlement.

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