Abusive priest sentenced to prison

Case was part of cover-up scandal
Former Boston priest Paul Shanley has been sentenced to 12 to 15 years behind bars for raping a minor in a Catholic church. Shanley’s was one of the more high-profile cases of offenders in the abuse and cover-up scandal in 2002.

Shanley, 74, faced a possible life sentence for abusing a boy, now a man of 27, at St. Jean’s parish in Newton, Massachusetts, in the 1980s. The unnamed accuser said Shanley would pull him out of religious education classes and molest him over a course of six years.

“I want him to die in prison,” the victim said in a statement read by prosecutor Lynne Rooney. “I hope it is slow and painful.”

Judge Stephen Neel, in announcing the sentence February 15, said “it is difficult to imagine a more egregious misuse of trust and authority,” according to the Associated Press. The victim’s wife told Shanley in court that “no words can ever explain my disgust for you. You are a coward. You hid behind God.”


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