The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


Heavily guarded Shanley flown to Boston

By Corey Dade, Globe Staff, 5/7/2002

A heavily guarded Rev. Paul R. Shanley returned to Boston last night from California to face three counts of child rape and is scheduled to be arraigned today in the clergy sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the Catholic Church.

Shanley, 71, sat in the back of a jet from Chicago, where he and his police guards had changed planes from San Diego, officials said. His handcuffs were removed during the flight, and one passenger saw him reading a book. The plane landed at about 8:40 p.m., and a bullet-proof vest was brought on board for the retired priest to wear when he left the plane in handcuffs, witnesses said.

Shanley was whisked to a waiting Newton police car, part of a cavalcade of cruisers that headed to Newton, where he spent the night in the police lockup.

The Middlesex district attorney's office said Shanley would be arraigned this morning before a Newton District Court judge sitting in Cambridge. In a San Diego court on Friday, Shanley was arraigned on a fugitive charge and he waived his right to contest extradition to Massachusetts.

Known as Boston's ''street priest'' in the 1960s and 1970s for his ministry to troubled young people, Shanley is accused of sexually abusing many of those youths.

The warrant for his arrest was issued by Newton police, based on the accusations of a man who said that as a young boy, Shanley would pull him from religious education classes at the former St. John the Evangelist Church and force him to have sex.

The alleged victim, identified by criminal justice sources and in a lawsuit as Paul Busa, 24, formerly of Newton, says he was just 6 years old when Shanley sexually abused him weekly in the church confessional, the rectory, and the restroom.

Douglas Belkin of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

This story ran on page A16 of the Boston Globe on 5/7/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

For complete coverage of the priest abuse scandal, go to