Mercure Victim Reveals Identity, Says More Needs to Be Done

By Walt McClure
Fox 23
March 10, 2011

[with video]

There are new details in the abuse case against former Catholic priest Gary Mercure, who was convicted last month of raping two former altar boys.

Thursday, one of those young men cast off his anonymity because he says something needs to be done to keep this from happening again.

Heath Bromley testified in Mercure's trial in Massachusetts, and says it was his intention never to reveal his identity, but he says inaction by the church and lawmakers in fixing the laws is what changed his mind.

Bromley says, “If it could have worked in a fashion where I didn't need to reveal my identity, I definitely would not chose to do that.”

For the first time, Bromley revealed publicly that he was one of the people sexually abused by former priest Gary Mercure - sentenced last month to more than 20 years in a Massachusetts prison for that abuse.

FOX23 News disguised Bromley's face and voice when he testified in that trial, as Bromley recounted how it took many years for him to come to terms with what happened.

Even now, the emotion and anger was not far from the surface as he spoke.

“The diocese has never contacted any of the victims and offered them any sort of help,” says Bromley. “There has been ample time and the bishop clearly admitted that he had underestimated the severity and the aftereffects of the abuse in the past, and yet he has offered no solace.”

Bromley and his attorney are also upset that promises they say were made by the Albany Catholic Diocese to cover therapy bills have not been fulfilled - and upset by a feeling that the church has not done enough to help change the laws to give victims more time to come forward about abuse.

Tina Weber, Bromley’s attorney, says, “It's time to tailor legislation in this state to meet the needs of the children and recognize the reality of child abuse.”

Bromley says, “It's a slap in the face to suggest that any child victim must or can change to accommodate current laws. It is the laws that must change to accommodate the needs of the child victims.”

Albany Catholic Diocese spokesman Ken Goldfarb tells FOX23 News that Bishop Howard Hubbard has publicly apologized to all abuse victims multiple times - and will meet personally with any victim who wishes to do that.

Regarding Bromley's therapy bills, Goldfarb says a request to pay them was received on March 1, and that a check was mailed to the therapist on March 9 to pay the fees in full.



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