United States: A former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to 12-15 years in prison for child rape by a Boston court. Nothing odd about that--the scandal has been a major news story for a few years now. But the case is not as clean cut as usual because it seems the only evidence against Paul Shanley comes from the 'recovered' memories of his purported victim.
The case hinged on the reliability of the victim's memories of the abuse, which he said he recovered several years ago as the clergy sex abuse scandal unfolded in the media...
...He was arrested in California in May 2002, and brought back to Massachusetts in handcuffs -- charged with raping four boys at St. Jean's. All four claimed they recovered memories of the abuse after the scandal broke.
But the case ran into numerous problems. In July, prosecutors dropped two accusers in what they said was a move to strengthen their case. Then, on the day jury selection began, they dropped a third accuser because he disappeared after a traumatic experience on the witness stand at a pretrial hearing last fall.
One of the accusers dropped from the case was Gregory Ford, a prominent victim in the clergy sex abuse scandal and among those who have settled lawsuits with the Boston Archdiocese. Ford was a friend of the victim left in the criminal case against Shanley, and the former priest's attorney contended the man's recovered memories were made up to match Ford's accusations -- and to profit financially in a lawsuit.
Defrocked priest sentenced to 12 to 15 years for child rape - Boston Globe, 15th February 2005.