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Ex-Priest Given 12 Years for Child Rape

By Denise Lavoie
Associated Press
Wednesday, February 16, 2005; Page A03

BOSTON, Feb. 15 -- Defrocked priest Paul R. Shanley, a central figure in the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal here, was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison on child rape charges Tuesday to a burst of applause from some of those who accused him of molestation.

Once known as a hip "street priest" who reached out to troubled children and homosexuals, Shanley, 74, was convicted last week of repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at his church during the 1980s.

Paul R. Shanley, a central figure in the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, heads for state prison. (Charles Krupa -- AP)

_____Shanley Sentenced_____
Video: Former Priest Sentenced to 12 to 15 Years
_____Religion News_____
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His accuser, now a 27-year-old firefighter, said Shanley would pull him from Sunday morning catechism classes and molest him, starting when he was 6 and continuing for six years. He said repressed memories of the abuse came flooding back three years ago as the sex abuse scandal unfolded.

In a statement read in court by a prosecutor, the accuser said: "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."

Defense lawyer Frank Mondano asked Judge Stephen Neel to allow Shanley to serve his sentence in a county jail rather than state prison. The judge refused.

Another notorious pedophile priest, John J. Geoghan, was beaten and strangled in a Massachusetts prison in 2003, allegedly by a fellow inmate. Shanley will be eligible for parole in eight years.

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