Priest at Center of Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal to be Released

FILE–In this Jan. 31, 2005 file photo, defrocked priest Paul Shanley listens during testimony in his trial at Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge, Mass. Prosecutors in Massachusetts say one of the most notorious figures in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal has completed his sentence on child rape charges and will be released from prison this week. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Prosecutors in Massachusetts say one of the most notorious figures in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal has completed his sentence on child rape charges and will be released from prison this week.

Paul Shanley was known in the 1960s and ’70s for being a hip “street priest” who reached out to troubled youths. But in 2005, he was convicted of repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at a suburban parish in the 1980s.

Shanley was sentenced to 12 to 15 years.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said her office hired two psychiatric experts to evaluate the 86-year-oldShanleyto see if he could continue to be held after completing his sentence. Both experts told prosecutors that he does not meet the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person.

In 2002, while awaiting trial, Shanley angered residents in Provincetown by planning to live in the community. Ultimately, the defrocked priest never moved to town before his conviction.

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