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Priest accused of child rape won't fight extradition

Shanley appears in court in San Diego on Friday.
Shanley appears in court in San Diego on Friday.  

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- Paul Shanley, accused of repeatedly raping a young boy while serving as a Roman Catholic priest in the Boston area, Friday waived his right to fight extradition at a hearing in California, a move that clears the way for his return to Massachusetts for prosecution.

Shanley, 71, appeared in San Diego Superior Court for the brief hearing. Wearing a blue jail uniform, he stood quietly and looked straight ahead.

Officials said they expect Massachusetts to pick up Shanley within 10 days. A spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney office said Shanley would likely return to Newton, Massachusetts -- where the alleged rapes occurred -- no later than Wednesday.

Judge David Szumowski ordered that Shanley be held separately in the jail, away from other inmates. Bob Locke, the San Diego deputy district attorney, said that is probably for Shanley's safety.

Shanley has not spoken publicly about the numerous molestation accusations against him, part of a pedophilia scandal that has rocked the Archdiocese of Boston. The criminal case against Shanley promises to raise new questions about how the archdiocese handled allegations of sexually abusive priests dating back three decades.

An attorney for several alleged victims of Shanley said Friday that church leaders "hid" sexually abusive priests.

Shanley was arrested Thursday morning at his San Diego apartment on three counts of raping a child.

The alleged victim in the case 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. The abuse, according to the Middlesex district attorney, began when the man was a 6-year-old catechism student.

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.

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In an interview taped prior to Shanley's arrest, Busa said memories of the abuse came back to him after he began reading earlier this year about the pedophilia scandal within the Roman Catholic Church.

"He used to tell me that nobody would ever believe me," Busa said of Shanley.

Archdiocese of Boston officials last month 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.

Thursday, the Boston Archdiocese issued a statement saying it hopes Shanley's arrests will "bring some level of relief and contribute to the healing" of those who were sexually abused.

Rodney Ford, the father of another young man who says he was raped as a boy by Shanley, hailed the arrest.

"I was glad to finally see him being taken into the police cruiser and being taken away to jail," said Ford, whose son Greg has made his accusations public. "This man is a monster. He needed to be removed from the streets immediately."

The Ford family's civil lawsuit against the Boston Archdiocese and Shanley prompted a court to order the church to turn over roughly 1,600 pages of damaging internal church documents that detailed church officials' knowledge about the long record of allegations of abuse against Shanley.

"What the young man alleges is that almost on a weekly basis, that Father Paul Shanley would come to take them from (youth) class for talks... to the bathroom, confessional, or to the rectory, and that is where the sexual abuse occurred."
- Middlesex, Massachusetts, District Attorney Martha Coakley

Roderick MacLeish, the attorney for Ford, Busa and two other men who have accused Shanley of molestation, said the documents point to a lack of leadership within the Boston Archdiocese.

Top church officials, he said, "hid these pedophiles" and must answer for their actions.

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.

Until recently, Shanley was a volunteer with the San Diego Police Department's retired senior patrol. After hearing of the allegations, the San Diego police notified Shanley last month that his services were no longer needed.




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