Pedophile ex-priest lives near studio for kids

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (AP) — The Latest on the release from prison of a former Roman Catholic priest convicted of child rape (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

A former Massachusetts priest who was convicted of child sex abuse and was recently released from prison will be living across the street from a children’s dance studio.

Eighty-six-year-old Paul Shanley moved to a town called Ware on Friday shortly after being released from a prison in Bridgewater, where he finished serving a 12-year sentence. He had been convicted of raping a boy in the 1980s.

His new home in a multiunit building is across the street from a recently opened dance studio that teaches children as young as 2.

The studio’s owner tells The Boston Globe she plans to install “state-of-the-art” security systems and make sure every child leaves the studio accompanied by an adult.

Shanley has been ordered to have no contact with children under 16. His lawyer says he’s not dangerous.


5:25 p.m.

A lawyer for a Massachusetts priest who has been released from prison after serving a sentence for a child rape conviction says he’s confident he won’t harm anyone.

Attorney Robert Shaw Jr. handled a criminal appeal for defrocked priest Paul Shanley. He says he understands why sexual abuse victims and others opposed Shanley’s release from prison Friday.

Shanley was released from the Old Colony Correctional Facility in Bridgewater and has moved to a town called Ware. He completed a 12-year prison sentence.

Shaw says he has “absolutely no concern that Paul Shanley is going to harm anybody.” He says the 86-year-old Shanley is “extremely frail” and in poor health.

Shaw notes two psychologists hired by the state found Shanley does not fit the criteria necessary to be held in custody under the state’s sexually dangerous person law.


12:55 p.m.

Two psychologists who evaluated a defrocked Massachusetts priest convicted of raping a boy in the 1980s have concluded he’s unlikely to sexually abuse more children because he is 86 and has health issues.

Both psychologists found Paul Shanley meets the psychiatric criteria for pedophilic disorder. But they say in written reports research suggests recidivism rates for people of his age are extremely low. They also cite the fact his last reported offense was in 1990.

Shanley was one of the most notorious figures in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal. Dozens of men came forward and reported Shanley had molested or raped them when they were children.

He was released from prison Friday…

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