The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


Accusers of Ryan say there are others

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 3/27/2002

PROVIDENCE - Garry M. Garland and attorney Daniel J. Shea yesterday tried to buttress their allegations that Garland was sexually abused by a Massachusetts priest and a deceased cardinal. Their effort only raised more questions about their claims.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Garland said he was molested in about 1979 by then-Vice Chancellor Frederick J. Ryan in the chancery of the Boston Archdiocese after being introduced to the late Cardinal Humberto Medeiros.

Shea said Sunday he would amend the suit to assert that Garland had been groped by Medeiros as well.

At a rainy news conference outside the Rhode Island State House yesterday, Garland and Shea attempted to introduce two additional men who, they said, were abused by Ryan. But one of the men refused to step out of a car to meet a throng of reporters and TV cameras, and the other was too emotionally distraught to answer questions.

Shea identified the distraught man as David Carney, but refused to spell the name for reporters. Shea said Carney and the man in the car are Massachusetts residents who were abused by Ryan in the state of Rhode Island.

Shea said Ryan returned to Massachusetts after the alleged abuse, which would freeze the Rhode Island statute of limitations and make Ryan vulnerable to a criminal indictment here. But he also said he has yet to provide Rhode Island law enforcement officials with the names of the two men.

Still, Shea said, he held the press conference in Rhode Island ''to make sure the Rhode Island authorities don't drag their feet.''

In statements made Sunday and Monday, Shea and Garland also alleged that Medeiros groped Garland on the evening in 1979 when Garland was allegedly molested by Ryan.

At their press conference yesterday, neither Garland nor Shea would say precisely how Medeiros had touched Garland.

Yesterday, Shea also appeared to stumble when he said he knows of six individuals abused by Ryan. ''These people are coming out of the woodwork,'' he said.

But when asked to enumerate, Shea could come up with only four alleged victims: Garland, the two men who attended yesterday's press conference, and the deceased brother of a Wayland police officer. ''I'm sorry for some of the inexactness. I really am tired,'' Shea said.

Shea, who is based in Houston and licensed to practice law in Texas and Massachusetts, also said he does not have significant previous experience in representing victims of clergy sexual abuse.

On Monday, Cardinal Bernard F. Law denounced the allegations against Medeiros as ''character assassination.'' And Garland said yesterday that Raymond L. Flynn, the former Boston mayor and former ambassador to the Vatican, telephoned him and asked him to stop speaking publicly about his allegations because they were hurting the church.

Law, in his statement Monday, made no comment about Ryan, a monsignor who until last week was pastor at St. Joseph Church in Kingston and an area vicar with oversight of 16 parishes in Plymouth County.

The archdiocese placed Ryan on administrative leave last Thursday pending an investigation of the claims made by Garland. The action, church officials said, was not an indication that Ryan is presumed either guilty or innocent of the allegations.

This story ran on page A17 of the Boston Globe on 3/27/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

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