In the latest accusation of sexual abuse against the Rev. Paul R. Shanley, a 30-year-old California man has alleged that Shanley repeatedly raped him over several years, beginning in 1990 when he was 17 years old.
The accusations were made by Kevin English of Big Bear Lake, Calif., Shanley’s first known alleged West Coast victim, and involve alleged abuse that falls within the criminal statute of limitations, unlike many of the complaints against Shanley dating back to the 1960s and 1970s.
English also alleges that Shanley encouraged him to watch pornograpy and have sex with other men at a gay motel Shanley co-owned in Palm Springs, Calif., with the Rev. John J. White, another Boston priest on leave in California at the time.
English also charges that after Shanley’s alleged history of abuse received wide publicity this year, Shanley called him and and said, ”Don’t talk to anyone and don’t believe these stories you are seeing about me. They are all a bunch of lies made up by the media.”
English’s allegations are detailed in an 8,000-word story in the August issue of Vanity Fair, due on newsstands next week. The story, by Maureen Orth, is a narrative of Shanley’s life and his career as Boston’s onetime ”street priest,” a position Shanley now stands accused of having used to sexually abuse dozens of boys.
English could not be reached for comment. Boston attorney Carmen Durso, who represents English with two California lawyers, said English’s case was ”so clearly preventable by virtue of everything that was known about Shanley” before he was transferred to San Bernardino in 1990.
Shanley was transferred in 1990 by the Boston Archdiocese to the San Bernardino Diocese, where he worked as an associate pastor for three years at St. Anne’s Parish. The transfer was arranged on the basis of a letter sent by Bishop Robert J. Banks, then Cardinal Bernard Law’s top deputy, telling the San Bernardino diocese that Shanley was ”a priest in good standing” in Boston.
At the time, the Boston Archdiocese had been notified that Shanley had publicly advocated sexual relations between men and boys and Law had allegedly been told by a Newton woman that Shanley had attempted to molest one youth at a church there.
Shanley was indicted last week on charges that he raped four boys at the now-closed St. John the Evangelist Church in Newton. He has been held on bail pending arraignment since his arrest in San Diego last month.
Durso said English, who first notified San Bernardino church officials of his accusations earlier this month, will be reporting his allegations against Shanley to California law enforcement officials ”shortly.” Durso also said he anticipates filing a civil suit on English’s behalf against the Boston Archdiocese, Shanley, Law, Banks, and Manchester, N.H., Bishop John B. McCormack, who was also previously one of Law’s top deputies.