BOSTON — A group representing survivors of priest sex abuse is calling for a former priest recently released from prison to be placed in a secure treatment facility far from children.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has launched an online petition urging the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and the state to take the extra measures after the former priest, Paul Shanley, was released last week.
The 86-year-old Shanley was convicted of raping a boy in the 1980s and served 12 years in prison. He settled into an apartment across from a children’s dance studio in Ware, 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Boston.
The St. Louis-based Survivors Network said Thursday that Shanley should get treatment for sexual issues, have no access to children and be monitored with a GPS bracelet.
“We are asking that he be put in a secure treatment facility. Most of them are quite nice, very comfortable, with people around to help him,” said Barbara Dorris, the network’s outreach director. “I cannot imagine his life in that apartment will be better.”
Shanley’s lawyer Robert Shaw Jr. said he’s in “frail health” and isn’t a danger to anyone.
“Paul Shanley has now served his sentence, and it is therefore high time for others to respect the rule of law and leave him alone,” Shaw said in a statement.
The archdiocese said last week it wouldn’t provide Shanley with financial support or benefits. It didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on what the Survivors Network said about his living arrangements.