Alleged clergy abuse case goes to trial in W.Mass.

Associated Press/January 29, 2011

Pittsfield, Massachusetts - A man accused of molesting two boys while he was serving as a Roman Catholic priest in New York state begins this week in western Massachusetts.

Gary Mercure's trial is scheduled to start with jury selection Monday in Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield.

Prosecutors allege the now 62-year-old Mercure raped the boys in Great Barrington and Monterey in 1986, and in New Ashford in 1989.

Mercure was a priest in the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., at the time and the alleged victims are from New York.

His lawyer has said that his client's DNA does not match the DNA introduced as evidence.

Mercure is free on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty. The Albany Diocese says Mercure was permanently removed from ministry as a priest in 2008.

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