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Spotlight Report

Accuser of Kingston priest also alleges abuse by Medeiros

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 3/25/2002

A lawyer representing a Hanover man who alleges that he was sexually abused as a teenager by a Catholic priest, the Rev. Frederick J. Ryan, said yesterday that his client also asserts that he was molested by the late Cardinal Humberto Medeiros.

Dan Shea said his client, Garry M. Garland, told him that Medeiros touched his groin while giving him a hug in the archdiocese chancery one evening in 1979 when Garland was 14 years old and was allegedly abused by Ryan, who was then a vice chancellor.

''Cardinal Medeiros gave Garry a full-body bear hug and in the process placed his hands in Garry's groin,'' Shea said in an interview with the Globe. Shea said he also made the assertion during a news conference he held yesterday in Pawtucket, R.I.

Garland, in a separate interview, repeated the allegation.

Last week, Garland filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court in which he asserted that Ryan took him to dinner at a North End restaurant where he encouraged him to become intoxicated.

According to the lawsuit, Ryan then drove Garland to his living quarters at the chancery, where he persuaded Garland to undress, took photographs of him, fondled him, and performed a sex act.

In the suit, Garland said he and Ryan were greeted by Medeiros on the second floor of the chancery that night, and that Medeiros hugged him. But he did not say that Medeiros molested him.

Shea said yesterday that Garland was too ashamed of the molestation by Medeiros to mention it before the lawsuit was filed. Shea said he would amend the suit this week to add the allegation that Medeiros abused Garland.

Donna M. Morrissey, the spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said last night that she could make no immediate comment because neither she nor other church officials had sufficient time to review the new allegations.

Ryan, a monsignor and pastor of St. Joseph Church in Kingston, was placed on administrative leave Thursday as the archdiocese began an investigation of the allegations made by Garland.

Morrissey said the action did not reflect a belief on the part of the archdiocese that the allegations were either true or false.

Ryan, also an area vicar with oversight of 16 parishes in Plymouth County, was a resident chaplain at Catholic Memorial High School in the early 1970s, and was a vice chancellor for 21 years under Medeiros and Cardinal Bernard F. Law. He is the highest-ranking archdiocese official accused of sexual misconduct.

This story ran on page A14 of the Boston Globe on 3/25/2002.
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