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Convicted Ex-Priest Challenges Memories Of Alleged Victims

This article is more than 10 years old.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday hears the request for a new trial from the lawyer for defrocked priest Paul Shanley.

In asking for the new trial, Shanley's attorney, Robert Shaw, argued that the state should not have allowed repressed memories of alleged victims as evidence during Shanley's trial without also presenting questions about repressed memories from the scientific community.

"We believe the trial and conviction of Paul Shanley was based on evidence not generally accepted in the scientific community and was essentially a fiction," Shaw said.

After Shanley's 2005 conviction on charges of raping a boy in a Newton church in the 1980s, he was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison.

The alleged victim came forward in 2002, after the clergy sex abuse scandal broke.

This program aired on September 10, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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