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Paedophile priest freed on bail in US

Boston, Dec. 11 (Reuters): The Rev. Paul Shanley, an accused paedophile priest at the heart of a clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, walked out of jail to chants of “pervert” today after an unidentified group of friends raised bail to free him.

Shanley emerged from the Middlesex county courthouse accompanied by his lawyer and another man, apparently a bodyguard, who shoved reporters out of the way so the elderly priest could climb into a waiting vehicle that whisked him away.

Sporting a hearing aid in his left ear, the accused rapist looked pale as a half-dozen protesters outside the courthouse screamed “pervert” and denounced prosecutors for not blocking the release.

“Keep him in jail!” shouted Ruth Moore, a member of Speak Truth TO Power, known as STTOP, a support group for victims of sexually abusive priests.

Shanley’s lawyer, Frank Mondano, said he feared for the priest’s safety after a group of unidentified friends and relatives had raised the $300,000 needed to free him on bail.

Under the terms of his release, Shanley was forced to surrender his passport, promise to remain in Massachusetts and have no contact with victims or witnesses in his case. Shanley pleaded not guilty in June to charges that he raped and sexually assaulted four boys.

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