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Rev. Paul Shanley Apprehended on Rape Charges

Aired May 2, 2002 - 13:19   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: But Rev. Paul Shanley picked up earlier today in San Diego, California. To Jason Carroll first, and to Jeffrey Toobin second to talk about the legal matters.

But first to you, Jason, in Boston, live with us now. We have found out more about this case, have we not?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, a lot more from Martha Coakley. Also want to point out that she had indicated that there is a possibility that more victims could come forward within the coming days or coming weeks. Coakley pointing out that a number of victims had started to come forward simply because -- all of this paperwork had come out regarding Father Paul Shanley. Paperwork which was very damaging, released from the Archdiocese of Boston, which seemed to indicate that Father Shanley approved of having relations between men and boys, also showing that the Archdiocese had been warned on a number of occasions about Shanley and his questionable past. So, very interesting to see.

We also got some more information about this -- about this new victim. Apparently he was a CCD student at St. Jean. That is located in Newton, which is not too far from Boston. The district attorney pointing out that apparently the -- the allegations of abuse happened between 1983 and 1990. Shanley allegedly raped the male victim, who is now 24.

Also, the gentlemen that you see there, the young gentlemen that you see there, he is also 24 years old. That's Greg Ford. He right now has a civil suit against the Archdiocese of Boston and Father Paul Shanley. Ford is alleging that he too was sexually abused by Father Paul Shanley when he was a child. The Fords were able to get some 1,600 pages of documents released from the Archdiocese of Boston. Those documents, as I said before, were very damaging -- in fact, so damaging that when it was learned that Father Paul Shanley was moved from parish to parish, there have been calls in Boston for Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law to step down and resign for his handing, or some would say mishandling, of the priest crisis.

So once again, Father Paul Shanley, who is really at the epicenter of this crisis, arrested in San Diego early this morning, San Diego Police Department telling us that he was arrested at his apartment in San Diego, arrested without incident; apparently, detectives had called from outside of his residence and told Shanley that they had a warrant for his arrest. He invited them in, and he was taken in into custody without incident -- Bill.

HEMMER: Jason, thank you. Jason Carroll, live in Boston.

As we look at that videotape, let's bring in Jeffrey Toobin, our legal analyst here at CNN, to talk more about this.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good afternoon to you, Jeff.

HEMMER: A lot of questions today about the statute of limitations; was that in question in this case?

TOOBIN: It's in question often in these child abuse cases, because it takes so long often for the victims to come forward. And what a lot of states have done is they've changed their statute of limitations, essentially to give people more time. What Massachusetts has done is that they have said the statute of limitations is ten years after the 16th birthday of any alleged victim, regardless of when before 16 the abuse took place.

Here the alleged victim, Greg Ford, is now 24 years old, so these charges could be brought even though the abuse is alleged to have taken place almost 20 years.

HEMMER: Essentially, two more years before the statute of limitations expires.

TOOBIN: Right, so there's not a statute of limitations problem in this case.

HEMMER: The other credible witness mentioned by Martha Coakley, the district attorney there in Middlesex County, that would indicate that the investigation is ongoing.

TOOBIN: Very much so. And this has been brought about because of the civil lawsuit. Just to illustrate the interlocking problems facing the church at this time is there is a very high-profile civil lawsuit by the Ford family against the archdiocese, and that has, you know, raised a lot of attention to the issue of Father Shanley. Obviously, the district attorney is piggybacking on that. Other victims seem to be coming forward. The charges today relate only to Greg Ford, but as the district attorney said, there are other victims potentially.

HEMMER: At some point very soon, Cardinal Law the archbishop in Boston will be deposed. How critical does that become now relative to the news we just got?

TOOBIN: It's especially important on many different levels. He is scheduled to be deposed in June in the civil lawsuit by the Ford family. Obviously, one of the big issues here has been how responsive has the archdiocese been. Have they been responding adequately. There's now a criminal investigation, as illustrated today. He is going to will have to deal with the fact whether he himself will be under criminal investigation.

HEMMER: Can he fight extradition from San Diego and not go back to Massachusetts?

TOOBIN: Not really. The only issue in an extradition proceeding is are you the person named in the complaint. Are you the same Father Shanley.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: And he has admitted that's who he is. It can be a slow and cumbersome process, but he's going (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Massachusetts.

HEMMER: Thank you, Jeff, appreciate it. We'll talk again. Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal analyst.

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