Paul Shanley

defrocked American priest (1931-2020)

Paul Richard Shanley (January 25, 1931 – October 28, 2020) was an American priest and was accused and convicted of raping a child. He served at St. Jean's Parish in Newton, Massachusetts and was a known figure in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal. He was incarcerated as inmate W84979 at Old Colony Correctional Center[1] for raping a child in 1980 and was released from prison on July 28, 2017.

Shanley first gained notoriety during the 1970s as a "street priest", ministering to drug addicts and runaways who struggled with their sexuality. His writings included Changing Norms of Sexuality.[2] During the 1980s, Shanley served as pastor of St. Jean the Evangelist Parish in Newton, Massachusetts.[3]

In February 2005, Shanley was found guilty of indecent assaults and the rape of a male minor and received a sentence of 12 to 15 years in prison. Shanley was released from Old Colony Correctional Center on July 28, 2017, after serving 12 years.[4]

Shanley died on October 28, 2020 from heart failure at the age of 89.[5]


  1. "VINELink". Archived from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  2. Jacobs, Sally (July 10, 2002). "'If they knew the madness in me'. A search for the real Rev. Paul Shanley..." The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  3. Boston Globe 4/6/2004
  4. Wamsley, Laura (July 28, 2017). "Former Priest And Convicted Child Abuser Paul Shanley Released From Prison". NPR. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  5. Paul Shanley, priest at center of sex scandal, dead at 89

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