Jury seated for Mass. priest’s child-rape trial

/ Source: The Associated Press

A jury was seated Thursday to hear the child-rape case against defrocked priest Paul Shanley, one of the most notorious figures in the Boston Archdiocese sex scandal.

Opening statements are set for Monday.

Eight men and eight women will hear the case. They will later be split into a 12-member jury and four alternates.

Shanley, 73, is accused of molesting a former altar boy. The alleged victim, now 27, said Shanley raped him repeatedly at St. Jean’s Parish in Newton between 1983 and 1989, beginning when he was 6.

Shanley, once a long-haired priest in blue jeans who reached out to Boston’s troubled youth, was defrocked by the Vatican last year.

His lawyer, Frank Mondano, has said the accuser made up his story to win money in a lawsuit.

Prosecutors have dropped charges related to three other alleged victims.

Internal church documents showed church officials knew about allegations against Shanley as early as 1967 but continued to transfer him from parish to parish.