Ex-priest in Bos­ton sex abuse scan­dal re­leased from prison

El Dorado News-Times - - Sports -

BOS­TON (AP) — A de­frocked priest at the cen­ter of Bos­ton's Ro­man Catholic clergy sex abuse scan­dal was re­leased from prison on Fri­day and set­tled into an apart­ment across the street from a chil­dren's dance stu­dio.

Paul Shan­ley, who had been con­victed of rap­ing a boy in the 1980s, moved to the town of Ware, about 65 miles (105 kilo­me­ters) west of Bos­ton, af­ter be­ing re­leased from the Old Colony Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter in Bridge­wa­ter, where he com­pleted a 12-year sen­tence. Shan­ley, 86, used a cane and was helped by a man as he ar­rived in Ware, fol­lowed by a group of re­porters and pho­tog­ra­phers.

His new home in a mul­tiu­nit build­ing is across from a re­cently opened dance stu­dio that teaches chil­dren as young as 2. The stu­dio's owner, Arielle Lask, said she plans to in­stall "state-of-the-art" se­cu­rity sys­tems and to make sure every child leaves the stu­dio ac­com­pa­nied by an adult.

"It's aw­ful that he's even on the streets of Ware," Lask told The Bos­ton Globe. "Whether it's across the street or down the road, there are chil­dren ev­ery­where."

As a con­di­tion of Shan­ley's 10-year pro­ba­tion, he has been or­dered to have no con­tact with chil­dren un­der age 16.

Ware po­lice Chief Shawn Cre­vier said Shan­ley has reg­is­tered as a sex of­fender and posters will be dis­played around town no­ti­fy­ing the pub­lic that Shan­ley is liv­ing in the area, which is typ­i­cal pro­ce­dure for the po­lice depart­ment.

"We're go­ing to do what we need to do to make sure the cit­i­zens are pro­tected and his rights are also pro­tected," Cre­vier said.

Shan­ley will be at least the third sex of­fender liv­ing on his street, he said.

Pros­e­cu­tors sought to hold Shan­ley be­yond his crim­i­nal sen­tence un­der a law that al­lows civil com­mit­ment of peo­ple deemed sex­u­ally dan­ger­ous. But two psy­chol­o­gists hired by the state found he did not meet the le­gal cri­te­ria to hold him.

A lawyer who rep­re­sented Shan­ley in his crim­i­nal ap­peal said he's con­fi­dent Shan­ley will not harm any­one. But at­tor­ney Robert Shaw Jr. said he un­der­stands the re­ac­tion from those who op­posed Shan­ley's re­lease from prison.

"I'm sure that law en­force­ment will en­sure that the com­mu­nity feels safe, and I have every ex­pec­ta­tion that they are go­ing to ful­fill their obli­ga­tion and be cer­tain that Paul Shan­ley also re­mains safe," Shaw said.

The state's sex of­fender registry des­ig­nates Shan­ley as a Level 3 of­fender, con­sid­ered the most likely to re­of­fend. But the two psy­chol­o­gists cited Shan­ley's ad­vanced age and his health is­sues and con­cluded his like­li­hood to re­of­fend is low.

At­tor­ney Mitchell Garabe­dian, who rep­re­sented dozens of men who say they were abused by Shan­ley, said the eval­u­a­tions were in­com­plete be­cause the psy­chol­o­gists didn't in­ter­view Shan­ley. In­stead, they re­viewed po­lice re­ports, pros­e­cu­tors' files and Shan­ley's church per­son­nel file con­tain­ing nu­mer­ous sex­ual abuse com­plaints against him.

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