PRIEST ARRAIGNED ON ABUSE CHARGES

BOB GARDINIER STAFF WRITER
Section: Main,  Page: A8

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PITTSFIELD -- A Roman Catholic priest who was removed as pastor of two Troy parishes pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he sexually abused two boys during the 1980s, prosecutors said.


Gary Mercure, 60, was indicted Oct. 31 on three counts, including child rape, according to Frederick Lantz, spokesman for Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless.


Mercure, who was arraigned on the charges Tuesday, allegedly raped two boys. The first, involving a man who is now 33 years old, allegedly occurred in the Great Barrington area in the fall of 1986, Lantz said. The second alleged rape occurred in February 1989 in New Ashford. That alleged victim is now 32 years old, Lantz said.


Mercure was suspended from the ministry in January while serving at the Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy.


He was ordained in 1975 and has served as a priest at St. Mary's in Clinton Heights, St. Mary's in Glens Falls, Our Lady of Annunciation in Queensbury and Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham.


Diocesan officials defrocked Mercure in August.


Mercure was charged with three counts of rape of a child with force as well as one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. He is free on his own recognizance pending further court action.


WEBHEADLINE:


Troy priest arraigned on molestation charges


WEBTEXT:


PITTSFIELD -- A Catholic priest who was removed as pastor of two Troy parishes pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he sexually abused two boys during the 1980s, prosecutors said.


Gary Mercure, 60, was indicted Oct. 31 on three counts, including child rape, according to Frederick Lantz, spokesman for Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless.


Mercure, who was arraigned on the charges Tuesday, allegedly raped two boys. The first, involving a man who is now 33 years old, occurred in the Great Barrington area in the fall of 1986, Lantz said. The second alleged rape occurred in February 1989 in New Ashford. The alleged victim is now 32 years old, Lantz said.


Mercure was suspended from the ministry in January when he was serving at the Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy.


He was ordained in 1975 and has served as a priest at St. Mary's in Clinton Heights, St. Mary's in Glens Falls, Our Lady of Annunciation in Queensbury and Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham.


Diocesan officials defrocked Mercure in August.


Mercure was charged with three counts of rape of a child with force as well as one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.


He is free on his own recognizance pending further court action.