The 53-year-old chief executive officer of a Boston-area corporation has agreed to testify about his alleged abuse at the hands of the Rev. Paul R. Shanley 37 years ago, charging that no one from the Archdiocese of Boston questioned him about it after he told a priest.
The man is identified in court papers as ”John Doe.” But lawyers for alleged abuse victims said he heads a well-known company and has come forward because he was angered that Shanley had twice invoked the name of God in denying that the alleged molestation took place at Shanley’s cabin in the Blue Hills in the summer of 1966.
The businessman’s testimony is important, plaintiffs’ lawyers said, because it provides compelling evidence for the first time that church officials ignored allegations against Shanley as early as 1966 — 27 years before he was removed from parish ministry.
Shanley is not a defendant in the suit, but is awaiting trial in Middlesex Superior Court on charges that he raped four boys, including Ford, while working at a now-defunct parish in Newton.
Lawyers for victims say this latest court filing is their most comprehensive compilation to date of the archdiocese’s efforts to cover up sexual abuse by priests. It details allegations from numerous alleged victims of Shanley, as well as 25 other priests.
The allegations include charges that Shanley paid teenagers for sex after they were sent to him by other men.
The motion filed yesterday asks Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney to allow plaintiffs, if the lawsuits go to trial, to introduce evidence that the archdiocese had ”policies and practices” that covered up for sexually abusive priests.
Such evidence, the plaintiffs argue, refutes assertions by attorneys for the archdiocese that poor record keeping and communication among church officials — rather than a deliberate policy — were to blame.