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Accused Rapist Rev. Paul Shanley Arraigned

Aired May 7, 2002 - 09:25   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Gentlemen, I just want to break you off for a moment and quickly go to Boston, where the Rev. Paul Shanley is being arraigned. You might remember that he is the man who has been accused of abusing children. Let's break in and listen to the audio here coming from the judge.


LYNN ROONEY, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, MIDDLESEX COUNTY: First, with respect to the charges for which the defendant is currently charged, these involve one victim. It is over a period of six years, between 1983 and 1990. The offenses alleged occurred on diverse states on almost a weekly basis.

The complainant has alleged that the defendant would take him out of a CCD class at St. Jean's Parish in Newton and bring him to various places: the rectory, the confessional and in the bathroom of the rectory. And in those places, he would digitally penetrate his anus. He would perform oral sex on the child and require the child to perform oral sex on him.

Again, this occurred on a weekly basis. The child was repeatedly told, "If you tell anyone, no one will believe you."

These allegations were recently brought to the attention of the district attorney's office, which resulted in the complaints before you. In addition, your honor, we have several documented admissions by this defendant about sexual misconduct with minors. In 1994, 1997 and in 1999 we have documented admissions that he was engaged in misconduct with male adolescence.

Your honor, I'm sure the argument is going to be made to this court that he didn't flee. He knew because it was widely reported in the media that the authorities were looking at him. I would suggest that the circumstances have changed dramatically.

It was widely reported that the majority of allegations were outside the statute of limitations. And the truth of the matter is, the majority of the people that have come forward to the district attorney's office are outside the statute of limitations and we are unable to proceed.

Very recently, a handful of victims have come forward who are presenting allegations to us that are within the statute of limitations and which would allow us to charge. Although today he stands before this court with victim, we are in the process of talking to several others, and we are evaluating those cases to determine whether or not we will seek additional charges.

I would suggest to this court that he is a tremendous risk of flight. The reasons for that, your honor, within documents that have been provided to our office by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston indicate his intention to hide his address and to relocate outside of this country. There are letters -- over and over again notations: "Paul Shanley, he will move. He will get a mailbox, but otherwise it will be kept secret."

Numerous notices that were provided to Rev. Brian Flatley (ph) with respect to address changes so that the monthly stipend can continue to go to the defendant. However, repeated requests that the address remain confidential, that it not be publicized.

There are several letters perhaps most importantly written by this defendant that we are in possession of that suggest that he is thinking about leaving the country. In January of 1994, he wrote to Rev. John McCormick (ph). I quote: "You laughed when I suggested moving to Costa Rica or Mexico, but it might be worth considering. It might be cheaper and it might allay the concerns of the victims."

September 19, 1995, Rev. Brian Flatley (ph) had a conversation with the defendant. He noted, quote, "We discussed his options. Father Shanley became guarded at this point. He acknowledges that he will survive. He recognizes that he could not live in New York on the salary the archdiocese provides. He has a plan to live in an unnamed country with a post office box in the states, which would secure anonymity for him."

"Given his resourcefulness and independence, I think this is probably a good plan for him." September 25 of 1995 the defendant writes back to Rev. Brian Flatley (ph) with respect to that report. Quote: "I wish you would find a more felicitous phrase for 'he became guarded.' It sounds as though I was being less than forthcoming with you, when the reality is that I was simply trying to preserve your ability in the future to honestly deny to the world that you knew where I was residing. The countries were Mexico or Guatemala."

October 15, 1997, the defendant writes to Rev. William Murphy (ph), quote, "If you need to stash a priest, I could probably help." Most recently, your honor, we are aware that the defendant traveled to Thailand. He left this country and entered Thailand on March 20. He obviously did return and we were able to locate him at an apartment in San Diego. I would suggest, however, now that criminal charges have been brought against him, he is facing three counts of child rape, each of which carry a potential life sentence in the state prison, the likelihood of him fleeing the country at this point has greatly increased.

Finally, your honor, if this court should impose bail, and he does post bail, I would ask the following conditions be imposed: that he be ordered to surrender his passport to the authorities, that he be ordered to remain within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That he have no contact with any child under the age (AUDIO GAP) and that he have no contact with any of the witnesses in this current case before the court.

Your honor, I do have -- if the court wishes -- and I have copies for defense counsel the documents to which I have referred. I would only ask that if the court wishes to accept the documents, that they be subsumed under the impoundment order that is in place and that none of these documents, along with any of the police reports not be disclosed other than to defense counsel.

DYANNE KLEIN, JUDGE, NEWTON DISTRICT COURT: Has Mr. Mondano seen these documents that you are referring to?

ROONEY: He has not.

KLEIN: All right.

ROONEY: Would the court like a copy?

KLEIN: I would. And copies being provided to Mr. Mondano.

ZAHN: We have just dipped into the arraignment proceedings involving Rev. Paul Shanley in Cambridge, Massachusetts this morning. Quickly, for those of you just joining us wanted to recap what the deputy DA just told the court, that Paul Shanley faces three counts of child rape involving one child. Each count carries with it a maximum prison sentence of life.

The complaint accuse Shanley of raping a boy inside a suburban Boston confessional, inside a rectory, inside a bathroom between 1983 and 1990. That was when the boy was between the ages of 6 and 13.

In one of the more interesting points the deputy DA made that there is, obviously, a statute of limitations that will limit them in their ability to pursue other charges, but she made it quite clear there might be several other cases where that rule will not apply, that would allow for even further charges to be filed against Rev. Paul Shanley. She called him a high risk for flight, and we are waiting to see if Paul Shanley will respond. His attorney has said so far that this is nothing more than a witch-hunt, and his attorney said late last night that he is dumbfounded by apparently a new batch of documents that have been unearthed at the Archdiocese of Boston on Monday.

What we do know so far is the documents that have been released by the archdiocese have been incredibly damaging. They show that Shanley advocated sex between children and adults, and that he was an early adherent of a group that later became the North American Man-Boy Love Association.

We should point out that this criminal case will be separate from civil lawsuits already brought against Shanley by alleged abuse victims. Let's dip back into the proceedings here.

KLEIN: Is there anything in addition, Ms. Rooney?

ROONEY: No, your honor, there is not.

KLEIN: All right. Mr. Mondano.

FRANK MONDANO, ATTORNEY, PAUL SHANLEY: Your honor, I think I want to start with the observation -- the arguments that have been advanced here today by the Commonwealth seeks largely to blur certain kinds of lines. I note from the materials that I've had an opportunity to review for the first time this morning that the paper most recent (UNINTELLIGIBLE) dated 1997, which would put us about five years back. But the lines that are being blurred are the ones, I think, that have to do with the consideration that is before the court, and the fact that this should be considered by the court.

First, your honor, I look at what the Commonwealth has advanced in support of its claim for the case. After giving a truly abbreviated description of the foundations, they avoid characterization of the same as some very old allegations, the most recent of which is, in fact, 1990, that came to light only recently in the context in which, in and of themselves, are significantly in question.

In addition to which, your honor, I submit to the logistics of the claim that has been outlined by the Commonwealth the facts that they passed the court here this morning creates sort of a logistical issue that's interesting. I think omitted from the facts related to the claim is the fact that this claimant says that others were similarly situated and, again, I submit that the logistics of the claim called into question the strength of the Commonwealth's case. Which is why, I believe, the Commonwealth doesn't argue to this court, based on the facts in this case.

What they have done is, by reference, incorporated things that are not properly in the court. I submit that they are things that should not be considered by the court, and they should not have been referenced by the Commonwealth. They have what has been characterized as admissions to sexual misconduct with adolescents. Now, they stop short of accusing somebody of the crime. There is no contention that these people are here, or are going to be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the proceeding before this court. And they are certainly not related to the case that is before the court, which then begs the question, why would you sort of refer so elliptically to things that are not of consequence with respect to the matter that is before the court?

The most disturbing thing about what has been advanced, your honor, by the Commonwealth in support of the request for bail here today is this notion of risk of flight. Somehow, the suggestion that when Paul Shanley was arrested, I believe on May 2, that something he knew was in this for him.

I submit to this court, your honor, I have been retained by Paul Shanley and have been representing him for approximately a month now. Prior to that, too, he has other local counsel. I made my first appearance on behalf of Paul Shanley on April 17. I made my next appearance on behalf of Paul Shanley on May 1, the day before he was arrested. The Commonwealth literally refers to the fact that he was arrested in an apartment. The apartment was his home. It has been his home address for three years. He has lived there uninterruptedly for weeks when he was found there. The referred to the fact that he was out of the country. He was out of the country at time and a place where there was process against him nowhere in the world, as far as we know. Thereby suggesting to the court there was impropriety for his being out of the country, when, in fact, there was no impropriety for being out of the country.

For some considerable period of time, it has been anticipated by Paul Shanley that he would be here in Massachusetts answering to one complaint indictment, charge, or another, because his life has been nothing but being hounded by the press to tell him of each and every development in connection with the case that exists here involving the plaintiffs, one of whom exists here. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) report that it is my understanding that the plaintiff here is also a claimant in one of the civil cases that has been around for some considerable period of time. That's what the Commonwealth has referenced to. What they have not referenced are what, as I understand it, the things the courts looks to for guidance with respect to whether or not somebody is a bail risk.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) uninterruptedly in San Diego for three years. Prior to that, he lived in New York. Prior to that, he lived in California. And between the years 1931 and 1990, he was a resident of Massachusetts. I think there was one blip up in Vermont.

He has got a brother which lives in Massachusetts. He has 11 nieces and nephews which are in Massachusetts. He went to school here in Massachusetts. He has roots that run very deep here in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has people who are prepared to provide him a place to stay, who are willing to stand up and be counted as sureties for his performance of whatever conditions of bail this court should decide to impose.

The one thing he is not possessed of, your honor, is wherewithal -- wherewithal to post $750,000 cash bail. The wherewithal to flee the Commonwealth -- much less the inclination to flee the Commonwealth. He is doing here today what he has known has been coming for a long time, not because of any acquiescence to the suggestion that he did something wrong, but only because he has been hounded, and the press living on his doorstep literally for months in connection with these allegations.

And perhaps most importantly, this is a 71-year-old man, who is in, your honor, who is in not the greatest of physical health, who has no inclination to run, no wherewithal to run, but has a absolutely no criminal record at all in the 71 years of his life. He's here to face the charges, your honor. He made plans to face the charges, your honor. He will take counsel 3,000 miles away. He was making appearances even before he was arrested. I state, your honor, he is no risk of flight.

Certainly this court can fashion conditions of bail, sureties, bracelet, whatever, to assure that his presence will before this court must not be in question, and I think that's the issue that's before the court.

I think, your honor, based on the strength, or lack of strength, in the case of this (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the obvious question marks that can case before the court, the obvious question marks that can be raised, the fact that it is only this case that is before the court, not all of those other things that the commonwealth alludes to, all of those other things that have been prominently played on the press. All of those other that have been characterized as improprieties or one thing or another.

Nothing, other than this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is characterizable as a crime. This man stands from court 71 year old, no criminal record, no reason to believe he will do anything other than what the court telling him to do.

I submit your honor, he's a candidate for personal recognizance. And I offer your honor if the court needs additional insurance to consider something like the bracelet program for sureties to satisfy everybody that he is not going anywhere, that he will be before this court when he's supposed to be before this court.

He stands before this court as an innocent man in connection with these charges, and he's never been convicted of anything.

Thank you, your honor.

KLEIN: Thank you Mr. Mondano.


All right, thank you, Mr. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: As we watch judge Diane Klein of the Newton District Court look at some of the new documents she's been handed, we just remind you what is going on here. This is the arraignment hearing of Rev. Paul Shanley who has been accused of raping a young boy between 1983 and 1990 at the St. Jean Parish in Newton where Shanley served until the church transferred him out to California. And this victim, now 24, came forward to file the first criminal complaint against Shanley, after reading reports that the archdiocese actually knew of some of the allegations against this priest.

You have just heard an impassioned Frank Mondano, the man representing Shanley, explain to the judge why he does not think his client should be denied bail. He claims his client is not a flight risk, that he should not be denied bail, saying he that no inclination, nor the wherewithal to run. This is a man, he claims, lived in San Diego for years, and the man who after being hounded by the press came to realization he was going to have to face the music in Massachusetts.

Now, this comes after Lynn Rooney who is the deputy D.A. of Middlesex County told the judge he absolutely should not be given bail. And she told the story about how over a many year period of time in California he would repeatedly change his mailbox addresses, making it virtually impossible for anybody to track him down. She claimed that he's been able to live an anonymous life that way.

The deputy D.A. in Middlesex County mentioning that she was telling the judge she understood that the statute of limitations was going to prevent them from pursuing some cases they know about it, but left open the possibility that there were several more cases where this statute did not apply, where the statute had not run out, meaning there might be further charges filed against father Shanley.

And just to give you an idea how serious this all is, just coming from this one case, this man could face a maximum prison sentence of life for each of the three charges he is facing right now. And the complaint is very specific. It accuses Shanley of raping this one boy inside a suburban Boston confessional, a rectory and a bathroom.

The abuse, the complaint charges, continued from the year 1983- 1990, spanning the time when the boy was six years old to the age of 13.

Let's listen to the judge.

KLEIN: The court is setting bail in the amount of $750,000 cash $7.5 million with surety.

I want to inform you, sir, that if you are to make bail on this case, the following continues are to be made society forth prior to your release, that you're to surrender your passport, that you're to remain in Massachusetts, that you're to have no contact with any child under 16, and have no contact, stay away from any witness, alleged victim or witness in case.

Do you understand that, sir?

In addition, sir, if you make bail in this case and are released, you are informed that if you get arrested or charged with any other offense while you're out on bail, that your bail could be revoked and you could be held without bail for period of up to 60 days.

Do you understand that, sir?


KLEIN: Did you hear what I just said?


KLEIN: I just wanted to be sure you were able to hear that.

Counsel, we need a -- do you want a status date or a probable cause date?

MONDANO: Yes, you're honor, I want a probable cause date. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) bail review. I'm looking at Thursday, May 16, your honor.

LYNN ROONEY, DEPUTY D.A., MIDDLESEX COUNTY: Your honor, I would ask for longer period of time. Our intention is to present this to the grand jury.

MONDANO: I'm not sure that this court is open (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KLEIN: It's a 30 day date, counsel.

You can have a it back for a status if you like. I'm going to give the commonwealth the longer probable cause date.

MONDANO: I would object to the date and the status of the proposal. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KLEIN: I'm going to give -- what date are you looking for, Miss Rooney?

ROONEY: Your honor, at the court's convenience -- for a status date?

KLEIN: For a status date.

ROONEY: I would ask for May 28.

KLEIN: That's three weeks from today. Are you available, Mr. Mondano?

MONDANO: No, your honor. I'm in New Hampshire on that day.

KLEIN: The 29, 30?

MONDANO: Appears all of those days I'm in New Hampshire.

KLEIN: Well, we could accommodate you with a 2:00 call, if that would...

MONDANO: The afternoon of May 30, your honor.

ROONEY: May 30 at 2:00, your honor?

KLEIN: Mr. Mondano, are you available on the afternoon of the 28, May 28? Miss Rooney are you?

ROONEY: I'm not available that afternoon. I could do it the afternoon any other day that week, or that morning.

MONDANO: That's the day I'm in New Hampshire, your honor.

KLEIN: What about the 31?

MONDANO: I have problem with the 31, your honor.

ZAHN: As the attorney representing Rev. Paul Shanley looks through his date book to see when the best possible date for a probable cause hearing, we wanted to bring those of you who are just joining us up to date on what has happened here. Bail has just been set at $750,000. That's what the prosecution asked for, saying Rev. Paul Shanley was a great risk of the flight. His attorneys denying that, saying that he didn't have the will nor the wherewithal to flee. The judge making it abundantly clear to Rev. Paul Shanley this morning, if out on bail he commits another crime that bail will be revoked.

Now this comes on the heels of the deputy D.A. laying out their case forcefully, saying in fact, Rev. Paul Shanley raped a young boy who was a member of his parish from the age of six to 13, the year 1983-1990. Rev. Paul Shanley on his behalf entering a plea of not guilty, having a not guilty plea entered this morning.

And once again, the attorney representing Paul Shanley saying that Massachusetts does not have a strong case against him. Called into question the strength of their case, and on a number of occasions, the deputy D.A. of Middlesex County going further, saying it's highly likely other criminals charges will be filed against this man not related to this one specific case that Rev. Paul Shanley was arraigned for this morning.

And this comes at a time that it is just been announced that cardinal Law will face a deposition this Wednesday morning related to the case of Father Geoghan, so we will do our best here at CNN to keep you up to date on all these civil and criminal cases that we need to keep our eye on.

We're going to take a short break here.


ZAHN: And we go back now to Cambridge, Massachusetts where the arraignment of Rev. Paul Shanley just finished.

Jason, anything surprise you about what you heard today coming from the deputy D.A.?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No real surprises in this one, Paula.

Father Paul Shanley entered the courtroom. Was asked by the judge if he understood the charges that he is facing, namely three counts of child rape. He answered yes. And then at that point, the deputy district attorney argued that bail should be set at $750,000. She argued the reason why bail should be set at $750,000 is because Father Shanley, she says, is a severe risk of flight. She provided the court with documents from the archdiocese of Boston which seem to indicated that Father Shanley had indicated that he wanted to travel to places such as Costa Rica, Mexico and Guatemala.

The deputy district attorney also indicating that as recently as March, that father Shanley had traveled to Thailand, and because of that, she said, father Shanley was a risk of flight.

His attorney, Frank Mondano, argued to the court that father Shanley not a risk of flight, basically saying that for the past three years, he's been living at apartment in San Diego, also indicating that he's 71 years old. Also saying that he's not in good physical condition. He had also indicated that father Shanley has roots in this community. He says that he has a number of nieces and nephews that live here and, therefore, was not a risk of flight.

In the end, the judge in this case did set bail at $750,000, saying that if father Shanley was able to make bail, he would do so under the following conditions, number one, he would have to surrender his passport. Also he would have to remain in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and he was not to have contact with any children under the age of 16, nor should he have any contact with anyone connected to the case, in terms of potential witnesses -- Paula.

ZAHN: All right, Jason Carroll, thanks so much for that update. We'll counting on you in the days to come to keep us posted on what's happening in Cambridge.




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