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A jury found Gary Mercure guilty Thursday after deliberating for about two hours.

Former North Country priest convicted of raping altar boys

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A former North Country priest has been convicted of raping two Queensbury-area altar boys in the mid-1980s.

A jury in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, reached the verdict yesterday after deliberating for two hours. Brian Mann reports.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

62-year-old Gary Mercure was a priest in the Glens Falls area when he took the boys on a trip to Massachusetts. 

The jury found him guilty of three counts of forcible rape of a child, as well as one count of indecent assault and battery of a child under the age of 14.

Prosecutors say Mercure assaulted other children during his time here in the North Country.

The investigation was first launched by the District Attorney's office in Warren County.  But Mercure was eventually tried in Massachusetts because the statute of limitations had already expired in New York.

According to a report in the Berkshire Eagle newspaper, Mercure smiled at his crying sister before being led away in handcuffs.   Several of Mercure's victims were in the audience when the verdict was read.

District Attorney Paul Caccaviello, who prosecuted the case, told the Berkshire Eagle that he was "gratified" by the verdict.  He called the victims "heroes" for coming forward.

Mercure's attorney claimed that the alleged victims were coached into making the abuse claims.   The Diocese of Albany banned Mercure from clergy work in 2008.  Sentencing in the case is scheduled for February 16th.

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