Paul Shanley Deserves a New Trial - When Will Prosecutor Martha Coakley and Judge Lynn Rooney Admit They Were Horribly Wrong?

Was Paul Shanley jailed by people who themselves should be in jail?

Before anyone goes berserk on me, let's agree that facts are facts. You can hate Catholic priests all you want, you can believe all the negative, biased press you want, you can point to the theatrics of sobbing accusers (remember the Salem witch trials?), you can quote Freudian nonsense till you verge on Oedipus Complex, but facts are facts, and only those should matter when it comes to deciding guilt or innocence.

Several years ago, a priest named Paul Shanley was accused by prosecutors Martha Coakley and Lynn Rooney of the Middlesex District Attorney's office (Rooney is now a district court judge who, like Coakley, made her reputation with "recovered memory" cases) of sexually molesting a boy in his parish 20 years earlier. Without a single witness to corroborate a single charge, Lynn Rooney put on a theatrical performance in the court room worthy of an Oscar. Why? Because she had no choice. All she and Martha Coakley had on the accused were the "recovered memories" of a solitary man, Paul Busa, who had a background of gambling and questionable ethics.

Other accusers seeking millions in compensation were shouting to be heard, also claiming the accused priest had fondled them, but apparently the honorable district attorney of Middlesex decided they were utterly unreliable (which they were), dropping three of them (buddies of Paul Busa-what a surprise!) before the trial. God, what I would give to have a video tape of the meeting between Martha Coakley and those guys!

Anyway, let's review the proper sequence of events involving Paul Busa, his recovered memories, and Lynn Rooney's crowning achievement--the prosecution of her victim in a kangaroo court:

- Paul Busa suddenly remembered the sexual abuse on the afternoon of Feb. 11, 2002, when his girlfriend told him about a newspaper article that reported someone he knew (Gregory Ford -- dropped as a credible witness by Martha Coakley because of his changing story and mental history) had alleged molestation by Father Shanley.

- The next day, brimming with recovered memories, Busa was talking to a personal-injury lawyer about pursuing a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Church (according to testimony by his own psychologist, Dr. Drozd, and documents presented in the criminal trial).

- Busa and his personal-injury lawyer, Roderick MacLeish, make the outrageous public claim to the press that the accused was "a founding member of NAMBLA and openly advocated sex between men and little boys." (NAMBLA is the North American Man Boy Love Association -- It was later proven this charge was a total fabrication.)

- The honorable Lynn Rooney decides to prosecute. The public and the press are frothing and demanding justice! The window is open!

- Not a single juror in the case had not heard of the false NAMBLA charge (they had all been biased by the press).

- Busa testifies that Shanley pulled him out of Christian doctrine classes and molested him in the church bathroom, the pews, the church confessional and the rectory.

- Not a single witness of the prosecution confirmed any of Busa's "recovered memories" of Paul Shanley removing him from classes or doing anything else that Busa claimed had taken place over a SEVEN YEAR period in the 1980's. (Not a single teacher or classmate of Busa could be found to agree with him, not a single person who Busa had been in contact with for seven years, SEVEN WHOLE YEARS during which he alleged he was repeatedly sexually abused.)

- At the end of the trial, Paul Busa declares, "I want him [Paul Shanley] to die in prison, whether it's of natural causes or otherwise. However he dies, I hope it's slow and painful."

Wouldn't you say that Paul Shanley deserves a new trial with an unbiased jury?

A few useful links on this subject:

The Railroading of Paul Shanley (interesting facts about his accusers and their mental history)



    Some notes on the "recovered memory" issue ... Paul Busa's "recovered memory" convicted Paul Shanley.

    From The Atlantic:

    Richard McNally, a Harvard University psychologist and the author of Remembering Trauma, says that people forget and recover nontraumatic memories all the time, but when an experience is truly traumatic, they "seldom if ever" forget it, though they may manage not to think about it. "No one has blocked out Auschwitz," he says. In a 2002 paper, three psychiatrists surveyed 77 studies of trauma survivors and found not a single reported case of traumatic amnesia. Moreover, McNally says, "the more repeated an event is, the less likely you are to forget that class of event."

    And further:

    ... the Shanley case pushes the envelope. It asks us to believe that the victim completely forgot repeated and frequent rapes, and that 15 and more years later, the memories sprang back in gaudy and accurate detail. The word "accurate" is crucial. None of the scientists I talked to believes that recovered traumatic memories, if they exist, are more accurate than ordinary memories; and ordinary memories, especially of childhood events, are notoriously unreliable and malleable. Psychologists have had no difficulty implanting in experimental subjects vivid but entirely spurious childhood "memories" of being attacked by animals, riding in hot-air balloons, meeting Bugs Bunny (a Warner Bros. character) at Disneyland, and much more.

  2. Anonymous8:54 AM

    So you are attacking the victim Paul Busa because of his gambling problems ? Does that mean if let's say a woman is raped but has an alcohol problem, then her testimony is not valid ? I am a medical professional and I can tell you that people do have the capacity to bury far, far down, events like rape.

    You also, dear writer, seem to be ignoring the fact that Shanley himself was a member of the Man/Boy Love Association and gave a talk at its annual meeting about how little boys who don't have a caring father should enter into a sexual relationship with a surrogate caring father figure.

    Really, please do your homework next time. Your reasoning is appalling.

  3. No, I'm not because Busa is not a victim at all. He's the perp in this case. You refuse to look at the facts because you obviously have some kind of personal stake in the notion of recovered memory, or who knows.

    I personally don't believe the Man/Boy thing at all, but even if true, that doesn't give any value to anything Busa said, esp when not a single witness came forward to support his contentions of years of methodical and continous abuse.

    And besides, I do not believe in RMT. But I do believe in frauds.

    My advice to you is to stick to the facts and stop the witch hunting.

  4. Anonymous12:14 PM

    I have been a social worker for fourteen years now. It is apparent to me that the host of this blog has spent no time in the trenches with families or children who have suffered from abuse. The content of language lacks experience and wisdom. I would also like to note that whenever victims of abuse come out to tell their story, their is often a small percentage of people who give a "backlash" effect to the truth being told. This is a common sociological trend and the blog hoster seems to have fallen into this trap with her own personal agenda. The truth is not defined only by the blog hoster's opinion. Her definition of "psuedo science" is actually flawed. There is no such thing in therapy actually called "RMT" - its a made up term. If you had spent one month or one year, working with families who have suffered through trauma or abuse, you would not be hosting this blog. You would spend more valubale time towards the preventation of child abuse

  5. What is apparent to me is that you are avoiding any substantive issue raised by the Shanley case and RMT (yes, it is used, as an acronym, and quite commonly) and instead attacking the messenger.

    This isn't about human beings who have been abused. Go back and read the post(s). It's about fraud, nonsense, media hysteria, and corrupt prosecutors who make careers out of sending innocent people to jail.

    Any half-intelligent person who examines the facts about Paul Busa, and Shanley, will see evidence of injustice.

    Get a brain scan, dear.

  6. It's nice to see your ridiculous web site/ blog spot is no longer on Web Del Sol. How is your career with defending pedophiles going? Have fun together


  7. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  8. Anonymous10:53 AM

    As a juror in the trial, I find your lack of objectivity to expose your agenda.

  9. Defrocked Priest Paul Shanley, seeking new trial in sex abuse scandal among clergy members in Boston Archdiocese, is challenging what are called repressed memories of his accuser; says his former lawyer did not challenge repressed memory evidence that helped convict him; Shanley is serving sentence of 12 to 15 years after being convicted in 2005 of repeatedly raping boy in 1980s houston personal injury attorney

  10. Anonymous5:44 PM

    So, pedophile defender. I supposed you will now come out and say that the Penn State scandal is all b.s - and that you believe Sandusky is an innocently accused man! blowing the cover off this thing should blow holes in your whole stupid pro offender profile. You are a disgrace !