Flaherty's Wake: Abortionist, Lawyer, Boxer, and Priest | Th. Metzger

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Father Charles Flaherty was called a saint by his band of followers, and a heartless baby-killer by his enemies. He was, in fact neither, but something far more: serving as a legal advisor and advocate for the poor, arguing dozens of court cases, boxing with the reigning heavyweight champion, accused of statutory rape (and found innocent), then perjury, bribery, fraud, and practicing medicine without a license. After decades of battle with Roman Catholic and law enforcement authorities, he was finally convicted of manslaughter in an abortion case and sentenced to seven years in Auburn State Prison, home of the original electric chair. Here, in secret, he wrote his life story, leaving out none of his unpunished crimes or unsung acts of heroism.

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