WARE (CBS/AP) – One of the most notorious figures in the Boston Archdiocese priest sex abuse scandal is moving to central Massachusetts. And not everyone was happy about it.
Resident Sylvia Ishman says that everyone needs to know Shanley is in the neighborhood. Her neighborhood is in Ware.
“I know everyone deserves a second chance. I understand, but I think people around here need to be aware and notified about it,” Ishman said.
Dance studio owner Arielle Lask, just opened her business in Ware and she says people will be hesitant to let their children go outside alone.
“There’s no kids going to be standing on the streets. There’s no kids going to be leaving without their parents,” Lask said.
Paul Shanley, 86, was released from prison Friday morning after serving a 12-year sentence for repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at St. Jean’s parish in Newton in the 1980s.
They’re concerned because Shanley left the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater and formally registered as a Level 3 sex offender at the police station in Ware.
Lask’s studio is in the same neighborhood as the Pulsaki Street apartment building where Shanley will be living, according to the state sex offender registry. He is the fifth Level 3 sex offender to have an address on this street. The registry shows there are currently 21 Level 3 sex offenders living within three miles of Pulaski Street.
Ware police Chief Shawn Crevier said it’s one of the most heavily patrolled areas of town. Officers began handing out Shanley’s sex offender flyers after he checked in with them Friday.
“We’re going to do what we need to do to make sure the citizens are protected and his rights are also protected,” Crevier said. “It’s always a safety concern, but we have a great department continuing to protect everybody’s rights.”
State law prohibits people from using information in the registry to harass sex offenders.
“The town of Ware is aware of Mr. Shanley’s release and relocation to the town. The Town, through the Police Department, will properly notify the public of any resident sex offender. The Town will continue to keep all residents informed and safe, while protecting everyone’s rights,” Ware Town Manager Stuart Beckley said in a statement Friday.
The Sex Offender Registry Board has classified Shanley as the most dangerous, a Level 3 offender, meaning they believe he has a high risk to re-offend. The classification also gives the public access to information to where he will be living.
He will be on probation for 10 years and has been ordered to have no contact with children under 16 years old. He must check in with the Ware police once a month.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office hired two psychiatric experts to evaluate Shanley to see if he should continue to be held after completing his sentence. But, both experts told prosecutors that he does not meet the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person.
According to one of the reports released Friday, because of Shanley’s “medical status, his age, and the nature and combination of risk factors present in his case, he does not meet the threshold required by the statute for likely to reoffend sexually.”
Abuse victims fear Shanley will not have enough supervision because he isn’t required to wear an electronic monitoring device.
His lawyer says he’s served his time and is not dangerous.
Shanley was a “street priest” who ministered to alienated youth in the 1960s and ’70s. Dozens of men came forward decades later and said Shanley had molested or raped them. He was defrocked by the Vatican in 2004 and was convicted of child rape in 2005.
The Archdiocese of Boston said this week it will not provide Shanley any kind of financial support or benefits. And Gov. Charlie Baker said he will review the standards for civilly committing a convicted sex offender who has served their prison sentence.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)