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Ex-priest convicted of child rape denied new trial

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A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of raping two altar boys in Berkshire County in the 1980s has been denied a new trial by the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Gary Mercure, former pastor at Our Lady of The Annunciation in Queensbury, N.Y., was convicted in February 2011 of rape of a child by force and indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14. He was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. The abuse took place on camping trips to the Berkshires. The Berkshire Eagle reported that Mercure argued in his appeal that the jury had been prejudiced after being allowed to hear testimony about alleged sex crimes against other former altar boys. The appeals court ruled that the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in allowing the testimony. (AP)

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