Bail For Accused Priest Sparks Outrage

Retired priest Paul Shanley, 71, is seen during his arraignment on three counts of child rape in Newton District Court in Cambridge, Mass., in this Tuesday, May 7, 2002 file photo. Shanley, jailed since his arrest in May, is scheduled to possibly post bail Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 10, 2002.
The father of an alleged sex abuse victim of the Rev. Paul Shanley is expressing outrage at the news that Shanley is expected to post his $300,000 bail sometime this week.

Rodney Ford said the news that Shanley, jailed since his arrest in May on charges that he assaulted and raped young boys while a priest in Newton from 1979 to 1989, would soon leave jail has horrified his now-adult son.

"He has a look on his face I haven't seen in years," Ford said. "I thought I'd never see that look again. It's back and it's scary."

Shanley's attorney told Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley's office that Shanley would post bail shortly.

"He told us it will happen, probably this week," said Emily LaGrassa, a spokeswoman for Coakley.

A call Tuesday to Shanley's attorney, Frank Mondano, was not immediately returned.

Shanley, who is also the focus of civil lawsuits by alleged sex abuse victims, is one of the priests whose cases have fueled the crisis in the Boston Archdiocese. Church officials have been accused of reassigning Shanley despite abuse allegations against him and complaints that he publicly advocated sex between men and boys.

Shanley was scheduled to appear Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court for non-evidentiary motions, LaGrassa said.

Shanley, 71, has been jailed since May when he was arrested and returned from California. He pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery.

It was not immediately known who planned to post Shanley's bail, and that information may not become public. Mondano told Coakley's office that Shanley would post cash bail, not surety, LaGrassa said. If he does, the money could be presented in the form of a bank check with no name attached, LaGrassa said.

If Shanley meets bail, he must surrender his passport, remain in the state and post an address, said Seth Horowitz, another Coakley spokesman. He's also forbidden any unsupervised contact with children under 16. He would not be required to wear an electronic bracelet.

However, Eric MacLeish, an attorney for the Fords, said he had been told by Coakley's office that Shanley could leave the state, though he would be required to check in regularly.

MacLeish deposed Shanley on Monday but said he could not comment on the deposition.

When Shanley was first returned from San Diego, Calif., to face charges in May, his bail was set at $750,000. Bail was reduced after Mondano argued the retired priest, who has no prior criminal record, was broke, in poor health and never intended to flee.

By Denise Lavoie