The trial of a former Catholic priest on child sexual abuse charges has been postponed again — the third time the trial has been adjourned since July, according to the Glens Falls Post Star, an upstate NY newspaper.
Gary Mercure was to stand trial Nov. 1, but the case has been postponed because of “unavailability of the prosecutor,” according to the Berkshire Superior Court Clerk’s Office.
Mercure has been indicted on charges he sexually abused two boys in the Pittsfield, Mass., area in the 1980s. He faces two felony charges of rape of a child by force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child younger than 14, both felonies. The alleged victims were boys from the Glens Falls area who Mercure took to Massachusetts. He has pleaded not guilty and is free pending trial.
Mercure was a priest assigned to Our Lady of the Annunciation in Queensbury and St. Mary’s in Glens Falls for more than a decade in the 1980s and 1990s. He has been accused of sexual abuse of the boys and others in Warren County, NY but could not be prosecuted locally because of a statute of limitations that generally requires felonies be prosecuted within 5 years of commission, authorities said. His last known address was in Troy, NY.
The criminal statute of limitations in Mass. was tolled while Mercure was in New York.
No new trial date on the current charges has been set, but it is scheduled for the next criminal court term, which starts in January, clerk Deborah Capeless told the Post Star.
The delay marked the third time this year the trial was postponed. It was originally scheduled for July, then September and finally Nov. 1. Mercure was first charged in October 2008. The case prosecutor, Berkshire County Assistant District Attorney Paul Caccaviello, was not available for comment.