BOSTON (CBS) — Convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley, one of the most notorious figures in the Boston Archdiocese sex abuse scandal, will be released from prison later this week.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents some of Shanley’s victims, said the 85-year-old will be released from the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater Friday.
Shanley was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison in 2005 after being convicted of two counts of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child.
He will be on probation for 10 years and will be ordered to have no contact with children under 16 years old.
He will not be ordered to wear a GPS bracelet, according to Garabedian.
“I’m concerned about my clients,” Garabedian said. “They feel his getting out is like reopening a wound.”
Paul Busa, one of Shanley’s victims, told WBZ-TV that is angry and disappointed.
“A guy rapes a little kid and that little kid is ruined for the rest of his life and he gets, on average, I think it was eight years before. This guy ends up doing 12 or 15, but everybody that he hurt has to deal with it the rest of their lives,” said Busa.
Clergy sex abuse survivor Phil Saviano says the mere image of Shanley’s release may trigger trauma for those he hurt. “The childhood memories are so horrific and so embedded, that, when they least expect it, something will trigger their memory,” Saviano told WBZ-TV/
The Middlesex District Attorney’s office said they hired two doctors to examine Shanley and determine if he “meets the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person.” Without testimony from those doctors, the state isn’t able to further push for Shanley’s imprisonment.
While the doctors still haven’t finished their final reports, the Middlesex DA’s office said they both told them Shanley doesn’t fit the legal criteria to be considered a sexually dangerous person.
“Our office continues to provide support and assistance to the victims in this matter,” the Middlesex DA’s office said in a release.
“I think it is disgusting, I think the system is so broken and flawed,” said Busa. “Obviously, I was disappointed, but there’s nothing I could do, I did my part. I was under the impression that when they passed that law that he would never get out and that’s obviously not going to happen.”
He said, “You can’t rehabilitate these people, but these bleeding hearts up there that they just, they feel bad for everybody, so it’s time to let him go I guess.”
SNAP, a support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings, agreed.
“Research and experience teach us that age does not cure pedophilia. Often age gives predators an advantage. People may see an old man and assume he is harmless. That is not the case. The Catholic Church has many treatment facilities for clergy and former clergy with sexual issues. We hope that they will insist Shanley live in a facility where he can receive treatment and where he will have no access to children,” said spokesperson Barbara Dorris.
Shanley was arrested in California in 2002.
WBZ-TV’s I-Team was in San Diego as police led him out of his home in handcuffs.
The Archdiocese of Boston released a statement Tuesday, “Paul Shanley’s crimes against children were reprehensible. No young person should ever have to experience such violations of their safety and dignity. We continue to assure all victims of abuse of our prayers and our concern. Any person who has been harmed by clergy sexual abuse, and in particular those who may need additional support at this time, are encouraged to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach at 617-746-5995.”
Garabedian said he will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday, at which at least one of Shanley’s victims will be present.