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Spotlight Report

Alleged sex abuse victim considered killing monsignor

By Ralph Ranalli, Globe Staff, 11/1/2002

An alleged sexual abuse victim says that he contemplated killing a Catholic priest who had just molested him in a Rhode Island motel room 21 years ago, according to a deposition released yesterday.

Dedham native David Carney said he almost slit Monsignor Frederick Ryan's throat with a broken wine bottle as Ryan lay passed out in the motel room where they had been drinking in late 1981.

''He had a loud car and I didn't think I could get rid of his car or I would have sliced his throat from ear to ear,'' said Carney, who was a 15-year-old freshman at Catholic Memorial High School at the time.

Instead, drunk and infuriated, Carney said he urinated on Ryan's bed at the Cranston motel where the priest had taken him and another teenager after a trip to Providence to get tattoos.

Carney, who is now a 36-year-old union laborer, is suing Ryan and the Archdiocese of Boston in civil court. At the time of the alleged abuse, Ryan was a vice chancellor and former resident chaplain at Catholic Memorial, where he allegedly met Carney.

''One reason this case is important is that he [Ryan] was vice chancellor at the time the conduct occurred,'' Carney's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian said. ''He was a very high-ranking church official. His immediate supervisor was Bishop Thomas Daly, who was [the archdiocese's] second in command.''

Carney also said in the July 25 deposition that he began using cocaine and alcohol after he was molested and estimates that his drinking and drug habits have cost him more than $500,000 over the last 21 years. Garabedian said yesterday that his client's substance abuse problems have continued.

In the deposition, Carney also described how Ryan enticed him into his rooms at the chancery in Brighton.

There Ryan took photographs of Carney and groped him, according to the deposition.

In a second instance of alleged abuse committed at the chancery, Ryan provided Carney with alcohol. Ryan then took photographs of Carney nude and molested him.

Prior to being sued, Ryan was pastor at a Kingston church. He has since been placed on administrative leave by Cardinal Bernard F. Law pending an investigation of the allegations against him.

This story ran on page B8 of the Boston Globe on 11/1/2002.
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