Boston Herald


Alleged Shanley victim not found
By Marie Szaniszlo
Wednesday, January 5, 2005


More charges may be dropped against a defrocked priest accused in one of the clergy sex abuse scandal's most lurid cases, potentially leaving only one of four alleged victims to testify at his upcoming trial.


     Frank Mondano, the attorney for Paul Shanley, yesterday said he expects the charges to be dropped because prosecutors may not be able to find one of the four men who claim Shanley repeatedly raped them between 1979 and 1989, when they were altar boys at St. John the Evangelist in Newton.


     Emily LaGrassa, a spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley, yesterday said the office had not dropped more charges against Shanley and, ``at this point, there are two victims involved in the case.''


     In October, however, Mondano asked Judge Stephen Neel to dismiss the charges related to one of them, an unidentified homeless man in his 20s, after he failed to appear in court at least twice. Three months earlier, prosecutors had dropped charges brought by two other alleged victims.


     Internal church records made public after the scandal broke in 2002 showed that archdiocesan officials transferred Shanley from parish to parish, even though he advocated sex between men and boys, and had been accused of abusing youngsters as early as 1967.


     Shanley resigned in 1989 and moved to San Diego, where he was arrested in 2002. He was defrocked last year. Now 73, he has been free on $300,000 bail pending the start of his Jan. 18 trial.