Paul Shanley, a priest convicted of multiple counts of child rape, has walked free, as reported by FOX8.
Shanley, 86, has spent the last 12 years behind bars after being convicted in 2005 of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child and two counts of rape and abuse of a child, according to the sex offender registry.
The Massachusetts man now begins 10 years of supervised probation, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement.
Shanley was one of a number of Catholic priests convicted of child rape, the fallout from an infamous Boston Globe investigation which was chronicled in the critically acclaimed film Spotlight.
His release, however, has sparked a backlash. Barbara Dorris, managing director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, spoke to reporters and said that pedophiles rarely change their gruesome appetites.
“Age, a change of title or location doesn’t change a pedophile,” she said. “For now, I just hope the officials who housed him, employed him, and protected him have an obligation to make sure this never happens again.”
“We would hope that he is placed in a treatment center — they have them all over the country — and that he has no access to children, because in the end this is about protecting the children.”
Shanley was silent as he walked to his new apartment, which the Washington Post has noted is directly across the street from a dance studio which has clients as young as 2.
As expected, folks aren’t exactly thrilled about their new child-raping neighbor. Leslie Mansour, 45, a mother of five, reeled in horror as she discussed the neighborhood’s newest resident with Boston Herald.
“I don’t want him on this street at all,” she said. “He doesn’t belong here. My kids walk up and down this street, but not anymore. They’re going to be stuck in the yard. I don’t want them anywhere near him. He belongs in jail. I don’t care how many years he did. They should have never let him out. He should have died in there.”
Paul Busa, one of the priest’s victims, is disturbed that Shanley gets to walk free after 12 years while everyone else has to continue picking up the pieces of their scattered lives, as reported by CBS Boston.
“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,” he said.
Shanley is registered as a Level 3 sex offender, considered the most likely to reoffend.
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