BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Former priest Paul Shanley, who was convicted of raping a boy in 1980s has been released from prison after completing his 12-year sentence, the Department of Correction said Friday.
The release comes as protesters vowed to demonstrate outside the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater on Friday.
A listing on the Sex Offender Registry Board shows Shanley will be living in Ware.
Shanley was a "street priest" who ministered to alienated youth in the 1960s and '70s. Decades later, dozens of men came forward and said Shanley had molested or raped them. He was defrocked by the Vatican and convicted of raping a boy at a Newton parish.
Sexual abuse victims say they're concerned the 86-year-old Shanley will not have enough supervision after he's released.
He'll be monitored by probation officials, but isn't required to wear an electronic monitoring device.
According to the sexual offender registry, Ware has 20 Level 3 sex offenders and 13 Level 2 sex offenders. Compared to simarily-sized towns, it's a high number.
Population Level 3 Level 2
WARE 6,170 20 13
Topsfield 6,065 3 0
Oxford 6,103 3 14
Chatham 6,125 1 2
Lincoln 6,362 0 1
Neighbors in Ware are weary about Shanley moving in.
"I was going start letting my son ride his bike to dance because we live right down the street, but im definitely afraid of that now," Liz Pelletier.
Arielle Lask owns a new dance center in the area and said she'll make sure security is tight and no child will leave the building without a parent.
"We’re going to have spotlights, surveillance cameras...we’re going to have panic buttons, alarm systems," said Lask.
Police Chief Shawn Crevier said he's not worried about Shanley moving into the town.
"The public is safe and I’m sure he’ll abide by his requirements," he said.
His requirements include not interacting with any children under 16.
Survivors of Shanley's abuse as well as victim advocates are calling for changes to the standards for people to be deemed sexually dangerous. Gov. Charlie Baker said that's something the state will be looking into.
"I know people who were horribly affected and damaged by Paul Shanley, and I think this is an issue we're going to take a good look at," Baker said. "I don't have an answer for you right now because it just happened, but certainly reviewing the standards with regards to that is at the top of our to-do list."
Shanley has been placed on the sex offender registry as a level 3 offender.
Cox Media Group