Shanley conviction upheld by Mass Supreme Judicial Court

January 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Shanley conviction upheld by Mass Supreme Judicial Court

Defrocked priest Shanley is a victim of ‘injustice,’ his attorney says By John R. Ellement and Jonathan Saltzman, Globe staff 1/15/10 The state’s highest court today upheld the sexual assault convictions of defrocked Roman Catholic priest Paul M. Shanley, who claimed he was wrongly accused by a man who fabricated memories of being abused as a child. Shanley was a key figure in the priest abuse scandal that rocked the Boston Archdiocese….In its unanimous ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said a Superior Court judge made the right decision when he allowed repressed memory evidence to be used against Shanley during his 2005 trial.

“In sum, the judge’s finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature,” Justice Robert Cordy wrote for the SJC

Shanley was prosecuted by Martha Coakley, who is now attorney general and a Democratic candidate for US Senate. Her successor, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.,whose prosecutors defended the conviction before the SJC, applauded the ruling.

“As the SJC recognized, repressed memories of abuse is a legitimate phenomenon and provided a valid basis for the jury to find that the victim, a child at the time of the assaults, repressed memories of the years of abuse he suffered at the hands of Paul Shanley, someone who was in a significant position of authority and trust.”….
But Wendy Murphy, who wrote a brief on behalf of victims rights, applauded the court in a statement. She said the ruling means “that the inability of a child to remember will never be used as a reason to deny a victim access to justice.”

Shanley’s convictions for two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery obtained by Middlesex prosecutors in 2005. The victim first made his accusations against Shanley in 2002, some 20 years after the abuse took place at St. Jean’s Church in Newton when the boy was between the ages of 6 and 11….During the trial, prosecutors had argued that the victim should be believed because the emotional trauma he suffered created a “dissociative amnesia,” which is recognized by the mental health profession as a legitimate psychiatric disorder.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/01/sjc_rules_in_sh.html

additional information on Shanley

“Damning internal church documents on the Rev. Paul R. Shanley make clear that the Archdiocese of Boston knew the priest was a child rapist yet devoted large sums of money and decades of personnel resources to cover up his crimes.” “The documents also show that Shanley spoke in favor of sex between men and boys at a formative 1978 meeting in Boston of the “Man Boy Lovers of North America,” a precursor of the North American Man-Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA.”  “Shanley admitted openly to raping and sodomizing minors when confronted by church investigators under Boston’s two past archbishops, Humberto Cardinal Medeiros and Law.” from Cover up: Documents: Archdiocese knew priest was a rapist – by Tom Mashberg and Robin Washington – 4/9/02 Boston Herald
http://web.archive.org/web/20020602180710/http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/local_regional/shan04092002.htm

Paul Shanley – Summary of Case: Shanley’s career had four stages. He spent the 1960s as a junior parish priest at St. Patrick’s in Stoneham (a suburb north of Boston) and at St. Francis of Assisi in Braintree (a working class suburb south of Boston). In the 1970s he was a “street priest” designated as the Boston archdiocese’s minister to “alienated youth.” In the 1980s he was a priest and pastor at St. Jean’s in the working class Nonantum section of Newton, west of Boston. And in the 1990s he was a fill-in priest in the San Bernardino diocese and an acting director of Leo House, a Catholic hostel in the New York archdiocese. He is accused of sexual abuse in each decade. His alleged victims were mostly male, but some women have come forward. Ages of the alleged victims at the time of the abuse range from 6 to 26, and the alleged offenses range from fondling to forced oral sex and anal rape. http://www.projecttruth2.com/Paul%20Richard%20Shanley.htm

Websites citing journal articles proving the veracity of recovered memory include :

http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/
http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/suggestedrefs.html
http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/index.html
http://www.jimhopper.com/memory/
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/tm.html
http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/abuse/a/cooroborate.htm

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