Under the influence of a charming yet abusive Catholic priest, Kevin English of Big Bear Lake says he was only 17 when he lost his virginity, his dignity and his religion.
“He was the master of deceit,’ English said of the Rev. Paul Shanley, a priest at the center of the Boston Archdiocese’s sexual-abuse scandal.
English, now 30, says Shanley sexually molested him and sold him to other men. Sitting in his lawyer’s office on Monday, he said that he plans to file a lawsuit Wednesday against the dioceses of San Bernardino and Boston, and Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who resigned as archbishop of Boston on Friday.
The civil lawsuit alleging negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and sexual battery is expected to be filed in San Bernardino Superior Court by English’s Riverside attorney, William Light.
Shanley has been charged with child rape in Massachusetts and has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
He has never been charged in San Bernardino County.
However, San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokesman Chip Patterson said he expects detectives will forward a criminal case to the District Attorney’s Office in two weeks and that charges will be filed against Shanley.
Now 71, Shanley was transferred to the Diocese of San Bernardino in 1990 and worked as a supply priest at St. Anne’s in San Bernardino for three years.
The Diocese of San Bernardino was not told of Shanley’s advocacy of pedophilia and did not know he had a history of complaints filed against him in Boston.
“We have no evidence whatsoever that anyone knew of sexual misconduct on the part of Father Shanley,’ said diocesan spokesman Rev. Howard Lincoln.
Shanley was removed as a supply priest in 1993 when the Diocese of San Bernardino learned of the complaints.
Lincoln said an investigation was conducted at that time and no children were found to be victims of Shanley.
English said he was first approached by Shanley before an Easter week Mass at St. Joseph’s in Big Bear Lake in 1990.
“He was fun. He was charming. He was smart. He had the best vocabulary I ever heard,’ English said. “You would never know he was full of evil.’
He said Shanley invited him to dinner the night they met. English confided to Shanley that he was confused about his homosexual feelings and wanted to be a priest.
“He told me he was equally attracted to men as he was to women,’ English said.
Shanley took English to the rectory inside St. Joseph’s after dinner and seduced him, English said.
“It was a fancy way of seduction,’ he said. “He said my body was for experimentation and that he was helping me discover myself. He was mentoring me.’
The sex continued for three years. English said they had sex in the rectory at St. Joseph’s and St. Anne’s and they also had sex at English’s home.
“I thought he was my best friend at the time,’ English said. “In a way, I knew it wasn’t right.’
English was in therapy for several years, but kept his relationship with Shanley a secret.
English said it will take time to wash away the shame of what he took part in.
“This is as sick as it gets,’ he said.
Shanley was living at the Whispering Palms, a hotel he co- owned in Palm Springs, while working at St. Anne’s on the weekends. There were lavish parties, he said.
English said he would drive himself to Palm Springs for those parties and engage in sex with men in their 40s and 50s from all over the world, including Holland, Canada and Germany.
“He was pimping me to older men,’ English said. “I didn’t get paid, but I think he did. He wanted to make me a porno star.’
English said Shanley told him not to be a priest, that the profession had ruined his life.
Just nine months ago, Shanley told English to keep quiet about their relationship, he said.
“Don’t say anything. These are all lies from the media and greedy attorneys and kids who want money for free,’ Shanley reportedly said.
English says he is a classic example of the damage done as a result of the Catholic Church transferring pedophile priests.
“Priests should be under the same law as anybody else,’ English said. “I think he should go to jail and go to hell and never get out.’