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Spotlight Report

Former student accuses priest

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 4/6/2002

Asecond former Catholic Memorial High School student yesterday filed suit against the Boston Archdiocese and Monsignor Frederick J. Ryan, alleging that Ryan sexually abused him in Ryan's living quarters at the chancery of the archdiocese on two occasions 20 years ago.

In the lawsuit, David E. Carney of Boston also claims that Ryan drove Carney and a friend of Carney's to a Cranston, R.I., motel where Ryan plied the boys with liquor and sexually molested them.

Ryan could be vulnerable to criminal charges because of the abuse that allegedly occurred in Rhode Island, according to Daniel J. Shea, a Houston attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Carney and the unnamed person described as Carney's friend. The statute of limitations for criminal activity is generally frozen when a person committing an offense leaves the state where the crime occurred.

"Law enforcement authorities in Rhode Island are conducting their own appropriate evaluation of the matter," Shea said.

Last week, Shea, Carney, and Carney's friend joined Garry M. Garland at a Providence news conference where Garland, a former Catholic Memorial High School student, said he had been abused by Ryan in the Boston chancery in about 1979.

Garland had filed a lawsuit accusing Ryan of molesting him twice. At the time of the alleged abuse, Ryan was a vice chancellor and former resident chaplain at Catholic Memorial, where he allegedly met both Garland and Carney.

In the lawsuit filed yesterday, Carney says that Ryan enticed him into his rooms at the chancery by taking him out to dinner and offering to show him National Hockey League memorabilia that had belonged to Chris Nilan, a third former Catholic Memorial student who went on to play professional hockey for the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

Once in his room at the chancery, Ryan persuaded Carney to change into a hockey shirt that had been used by Nilan, then took photographs of Carney and groped him, according to the lawsuit.

In a second instance of alleged abuse committed at the chancery, Ryan provided Carney with alcohol, then showed him photographs of a tattoo on Garland's right hip -- Ryan then took photographs of Carney nude and molested him, the lawsuit says.

In addition, the lawsuit asserts that Ryan obtained nude photographs of Carney's friend, described anonymously as John Doe, and used the photos "to blackmail John Doe into a long-term, heroin-assisted, non-consensual sexual relationship."

Last month, Ryan was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the archdiocese of Garland's accusations. Ryan had been working as pastor of St. Joseph Church in Kingston, and as an area vicar with oversight of 16 parishes.

Ryan's attorney, Timothy P. O'Neill, yesterday declined to comment on the lawsuits.

This story ran on page B4 of the Boston Globe on 4/6/2002.
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