The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 January 2005

Hope and Pray Shanley Finds Justice

I'm nervous about the outcome in the Paul Shanley child rape case.

Prosecutors didn't have enough to work with, down to just one witness who could testify against the defrocked former priest. And now it seems to hinge on whether jurors will buy the concept of repressed memories.

Beyond that, we're talking about a Cambridge jury here, a town always ready to side with perps whenever an excuse can be cooked up.

Let's hope and pray that justice catches up with Paul Shanley.

(Boston Herald) CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Prosecutors wrapped up their case against defrocked priest Paul Shanley on Monday after a psychologist testified that it's not uncommon for adults who suffer trauma as children to repress memories of the experience.
Shanley's accuser, now a 27-year-old firefighter, says he remembered in early 2002 that he'd been repeatedly raped and molested by the former priest from 1983 to 1989 at a Newton parish. Shanley's lawyer has questioned the science behind repressed memory, also known as dissociative amnesia.
The condition is ``not common, but it's not at all rare,'' said prosecution witness Dr. James Chu, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
He said repressed memory is more common among people who suffered repeated trauma as children than in those who suffered a single traumatic event.
``It really is more this repeated trauma that tends to be forgotten by some mechanism,'' Chu said.


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