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Priest pleads not guilty, bail set

Paul Shanley appears in court Tuesday
Paul Shanley appears in court Tuesday  

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Retired Roman Catholic priest Paul Shanley pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three counts of raping a child between 1983 and 1990 while serving in a Boston, Massachusetts-area parish.

A judge set bail of $750,000.

Shanley, who appeared before Newton District Court Judge Dyanne Klein, was extradited to Massachusetts on Monday after his arrest last week at his home in San Diego, California.

Lynn Rooney, a deputy district attorney for Middlesex County, had argued that Shanley was a flight risk, but his lawyer, Frank Mondano, insisted otherwise.

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"He is not going anywhere," Mondano said. "He will be before this court when he is supposed to be before this court."

In addition to setting bail, Klein also ordered Shanley to remain in Massachusetts, surrender his passport and not to have any contact with children under 16 years old or any witnesses in the case.

The alleged victim has been identified by authorities as a 24-year-old man who says Shanley raped and molested him in the rectory, the bathroom and even the confessional booth between 1983 and 1990 while Shanley served at St. Jean Parish in Newton.

A source close to the case has identified the man as Paul Busa, who, until recently, had been a military police officer with the Air Force in Colorado. Busa has publicly accused Shanley of molesting him, but he did not appear at a news conference Thursday with other alleged victims of the retired priest.

The Archdiocese of Boston officials have turned over internal documents that said Shanley had publicly advocated sex between men and boys and that church officials had known since 1967 about allegations of sexual abuse leveled against him.

Some critics have demanded the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, the archbishop of Boston, because he moved Shanley from parish to parish even as the allegations mounted.

Law has been ordered to testify Wednesday at a hearing in a civil suit brought by 86 alleged victims of priests.

Sporting long hair, sideburns and casual clothing, Shanley ran the ministry for eight years, during which he attracted widely favorable attention in the local community for embracing ostracized minorities, including runaways, drug abusers, drifters and teen-agers struggling with their sexuality.

Referred to as a "street priest," Shanley rode a motorcycle and openly questioned church teachings, including the Catholic Church's admonition against homosexuality. He often clashed with his superiors, including the late Cardinal Humberto Medeiros.

In 1979, Shanley was transferred to St. Jean by Medeiros, even though the cardinal had been told of a sexual abuse charge four years earlier, according to one of his alleged victims.

When Shanley was transferred to California in 1990, the Boston Archdiocese didn't tell officials there about his background, according to attorney Roderick MacLeish, who represents the Ford family.

Shanley, who worked in Boston with troubled youths, retired in San Diego.




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