published Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Former Chattanooga priest's hearing delayed

By Kacie D. Breeding, Kingsport Times News

A former Kingsport, Tenn., and Chattanooga priest convicted last July of raping an altar boy three decades ago wants his convictions overturned, but a hearing on the issue has been postponed.

William Casey, 77, of Greeneville, Tenn., was scheduled for a hearing Monday afternoon on a motion filed Dec. 22, 2011, in which he seeks a "new trial, arrest of judgment or judgment of acquittal."

At trial, Casey was represented by Rick Spivey and Matthew Spivey. The hearing reportedly was postponed because Matthew Spivey was unavailable Monday. As of midafternoon a new hearing date had not been set.

Casey was sentenced last November to 15 to 20 years on first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges and two concurrent 20-year terms on two aggravated rape counts. His convictions stemmed from allegations he sexually abused 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."

At the sentencing, Tucker testified Casey committed in excess of 50 sexual acts against him when he was between 10 and 16, 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.

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