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Ex-NY priest gets prison on Mass. rape charges

A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of raping two altar boys in western Massachusetts in the 1980s has been sentenced to 20 to 25 years in state prison.

A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of raping two altar boys in western Massachusetts in the 1980s has been sentenced to 20 to 25 years in state prison.

Gary Mercure of Troy, N.Y., was convicted earlier this month of three counts of forcible rape of a child and one count of indecent assault and battery of a child under 14.

Mercure was sentenced Wednesday by a Berkshire Superior Court judge.

Prosecutors say Mercure raped the boys in the Berkshires between 1986 and 1989, while he was a priest in the Diocese of Albany, N.Y. He was defrocked in 2008.

Mercure denied the allegations, and his lawyers say the complainants were coached into making abuse claims.

A lawyer for Mercure says he'll appeal.

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