Former Chattanooga priest Bill Casey sentenced

Former Chattanooga priest Bill Casey sentenced

November 24th, 2011 By Kacie D. Breeding, The Kingsport Times-News in News

William Casey enters court Wednesday, where he was sentenced to 15-20 years on the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and two concurrent 20-year terms on the aggravated rape convictions in Sullivan County Criminal Court.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. - A former Chattanooga and Kingsport, Tenn., priest has been sentenced to serve 35 to 40 years in prison on his convictions for two counts of aggravated rape and one count of first-degree sexual misconduct.

William "Bill" Casey, 77, of 740 Shakerag Road in Greene-ville, Tenn., was sentenced Wednesday in Sullivan County Criminal Court to 15 to 20 years on the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and two concurrent 20-year terms on the aggravated rape convictions.

He had been incarcerated pending sentencing since his conviction in July after the judge declined to grant him a bond. His 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.

Casey served as an associate pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Chattanooga from 1969 to 1972.

During the trial, the victim, Warren Tucker, now 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."

During Wednesday's hearing, Tucker testified Casey had committed in excess of 50 sexual acts against him, with most of the alleged offenses occurring in Sullivan County but others allegedly taking place in Greene County, Tenn., McDowell County, N.C., and Scott County, Va.

After the sentencing, Tucker said he has "no tears" for Casey.

Casey previously had been placed on probation for a conviction out of McDowell County, N.C., and had been placed on electronic monitoring due to pending charges in Scott County, Va. No charges have been placed in Greene County.

Sullivan County District Attorney Barry Staubus had argued in favor of sentencing Casey to the maximum of 50 years.

His lead attorney, Rick Spivey, had argued in favor of minimum sentences on each count and for all the time to run concurrently.

After the sentencing, Spivey expressed an intent to file a motion for a new trial. That motion is scheduled to be heard on March 5, 2012.

Contact Kacie Dingus Breeding at kdingus@timesnews.net.