Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Four more men accuse priest of sexual abuse

Four more men came forward Monday to accuse a Catholic priest who formerly was assigned to churches in Queensbury and Glens Falls of child sexual abuse.

Two of the men told reporters that father Gary Mercure molested them for years when he was the priest at Our Lady of the Annunciation church in Queensbury in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Both spoke at a news conference in Latham on condition their names not be used, and said Mercure abused them over 7 years, beginning when they were 8 years old.

Two others told reporters that Mercure committed sexual misconduct with them when Mercure was assigned to St. Teresa of Avila Church in the 1970s. One, Michael Flynn of Clifton Park and Lake George, gave his name, while the other did not.

All four spoke during a news conference organized by the Capital District chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

It came eight days after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany announced that Mercure had taken a paid leave of absence amid an investigation of allegations he abused a boy while assigned to the Queensbury church.
That alleged victim was not among those who spoke at Monday’s event.

The four who did come forward told of "grooming" by and sexual relationships with Mercure, who spent at least 12 years at Our Lady of the Annunciation and St. Mary’s in Glens Falls, before he left St. Mary’s in 1995 for what he called "health reasons."

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