Fallen Leaders Gallery 5

Fallen Leaders Gallery 5


John Geoghan (right) and Paul Shanley, defrocked Catholic priests, were among the most public faces of the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal.

Offense: Shanley, a key figure in the Boston archdiocese clergy sex-abuse scandal, was accused of raping a boy repeatedly in the 1980s. He had previously been lauded as a "street priest" who championed the cause of troubled teens. Geoghan, also a former priest in the Boston archdiocese who befriended young boys to keep them off the streets, was accused by more than 150 people of child molestation.

Consequence/Punishment: Both were ousted from the priesthood. In February 2002, Geoghan was sentenced to nine to 10 years in state prison for molesting a 10-year-old boy. In February 2005, Shanley was convicted of child rape and sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison. The Boston Archdiocese eventually reached a $10 million settlement with 86 other alleged victims of Geoghan. Geoghan was killed in prison in August 2003 by a fellow inmate.

Effect on Community: The ongoing clergy sexual-abuse revelations in the Archdiocese of Boston are reflective of the sexual abuse scandal throughout the Catholic Church. To this day, the Catholic Church in America suffers from the loss of money and credibility brought about by the sex abuse scandal. Victims and their families, along with everyday Catholics, continue to deal with the tremendous pain caused by the betrayal of their leaders.

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