(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON – The Boston area priest, Paul Shanley, who was convicted of raping a boy repeatedly in the 1980s earlier this month, was sentenced to 12 to 15 years Tuesday.
“It is difficult to imagine a more egregious misuse of trust and authority,” said Judge Stephen Neel while delivering the sentencing. However, he chose not to give the 74 year-old man life in prison as the prosecution requested.
Shanley will be up for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence. He was also sentenced to 10 years probation.
“I want him to die in prison, whether it’s of natural causes or otherwise. However he dies, I hope it’s slow and painful,” Shanley’s accuser said in a statement read by his lawyer during the sentencing hearing.
The now 27-year-old firefighter said Shanley molested him continuously for six years in the 1980s, starting when he was six years old. His repressed memories of the abuse came back three years ago as the clergy abuse scandal unfolded, he said.
“You robbed my little boy of his innocence. You destroyed his understanding of good and bad and right and wrong. You took his faith away. You also took some of my faith away, not in God, but in the church,” the victim’s father said during the hearing.
Frank Mondano, Shanley’s lawyer, requested that Judge Neel let Shanley serve his sentence in a county prison rather than a state prison. John Geoghan, another priest convicted of sexual abuse, was killed by a fellow inmate while in a Massachusetts state prison. The inmate later said he killed Geoghan “to save the children”. The judge denied the request.
Mondano, who said the prosecution’s case was filled with “vilification, half-truths and lies,” said he plans to appeal.
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