Paul Shanley has been released from prison after serving 12 years; he’s now 86 years old and frail. Shanley had been a priest and was a central figure in Boston’s clerical sex abuse scandal. The evidence that landed him in prison was scant and dubious – repressed memories. Coverage by major media outlets including the Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix was notably biased and ugly, working to gum up the scales of justice. If the conviction was questionable, Shanley nonetheless paid the price. Now that he’s getting settled in an apartment, the Worcester Telegram couldn’t resist an opportunity to spotlight Shanley’s new landlord. Elaine Thompson’s lengthy report will tell you lots about the current atmosphere in a state infamous for hunting witches. And you’ll learn from the article and reading between the lines plenty of the paper’s sentiments regarding Paul Shanley and others who suffer with 21st century scarlet letters – don’t miss the map and graphs. See the links below for other perspectives on the case: An online compilation of “fair press reports.” Also, the website of the National Center for Reason and Justice, a small, brave organization which stood with Paul Shanley, sponsoring his case in the face of a powerful moral panic. –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire
Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA) | June 6, 2017L
By Elaine Thompson
Excerpts: Mr. Pentlarge’s effort to help sex offenders was recently in the spotlight when his latest tenant, high-profile child rapist Paul R. Shanley, moved into an apartment that Mr. Pentlarge owns at 31 Pulaski St. Mr. Shanley had been incarcerated for 12 years for repeatedly raping a boy at a Newton parish in the 1980s. The former street priest was at the center of the Roman Catholic priest sex abuse scandal and was defrocked.
He said he was surprised by the intensity of the media’s interest in Mr. Shanley’s release from prison. As the priest moved in, a woman stood outside his door with a sign that said, “Beware.” He was also told of two people throwing garlicat the house where Mr. Shanley now lives.
Upon release, many registered sex offenders say they have a difficult time finding housing or a job because of their crime and addresses and photos made public through the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board. Mr. Pentlarge, who has advocated for discontinuing the Sex Offender Registry because of its prejudicial effects, said that is the main reason he tries to help other Level 3 offenders. MORE