Priest Convicted of Rape Returned to Lay Status

By News Sentinel Staff
News Sentinel
February 7, 2013

A former Kingsport priest, relieved of duties after being convicted of sexual misconduct and aggravated rape, has been dismissed to layman status by the Catholic church.

Rev. Richard F. Stika, Bishop of Knoxville, released a statement Thursday confirming that William "Bill" Casey of Greeneville has been "laicized" by Pope Benedict XVI.

"Through this laicization, Mr. Casey returns to the lay state," Stika said. "I request that you continue to pray for Warren Tucker and for all victims of abuse throughout the world. I also ask you to pray for Mr. Casey and his family."

Casey was sentenced in November 2011 to 35 to 40 years in prison and is incarcerated. He was sentenced in Sullvan Cunty Criminal Court to 15 to 20 years on a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and two concurrent 20-year terms for two counts of aggravated rape.

The charges alleged he began to sexually abuse a young altar boy shortly after becoming priest of St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Kingsport in the 1970s.

During the trial, the victim, Tucker, then 46, testified Casey raped him twice — once when he was 13 and once when he was 14 — and performed oral sex on him in his mother's trailer shortly before his 15th birthday, with Tucker saying he "felt obligated" to reciprocate the act. He described feeling powerless to resist a man he believed to be "representative of God on earth."

Tucker testified Casey committed in excess of 50 sexual acts against him when he was between 10 and 16 years of age, with most of the alleged offenses occurring in Sullivan County, but others also allegedly taking place in Greene County, McDowell County, N.C., and Scott County, Va.

Stika has said Casey indicated "there could have been other" victims of sexual abuse.


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