Former East Tennessee priest indicted for sex abuse in Virginia

Former East Tennessee priest indicted for sex abuse in Virginia

Posted: Updated:
William Casey in court in North Carolina William Casey in court in North Carolina

GATE CITY, Va. (WATE) - A former East Tennessee priest was indicted on child sex abuse charges in Scott County, Virginia nearly a week after he pleaded guilty to abuse in North Carolina.

William Casey was indicted by a Scott County grand jury Monday on charges of carnal knowledge of a child under 14 by force and indecent liberties with a child.

No court dates have been set.

The grand jurors heard allegations that Casey sexually abused Warren Tucker there more than 30 years ago.

He's accused of assaulting Tucker at Natural Tunnel State Park between June 1 and Sept. 1, 1978.

The Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office began investigating Casey after Tucker filed a complaint in late April. Officials were informed of the claims by the Scott County Sheriff's Office.

Tucker, who's now 44, told authorities Casey sexually assaulted him during several trips to Scott County while he was a boy.

In a statement released Tuesday, Tucker said, "William Casey molested me. He took my joy. He belongs in prison for his crimes. I take no joy in pursuing justice, but it must be done for the sake of our children and those survivors yet to come forward."

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said in a statement Tuesday, "We applaud secular authorities for continuing to listen to and support Casey's victims. We especially applaud Warren Tucker for continuing to protect kids and pursue justice."

Casey pleaded guilty last week to sexually abusing Tucker in North Carolina. He was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, plus he has to pay court costs and a $500 fine.

Susan Vance, the East Tennessee coordinator for SNAP, says Casey's guilty plea was bittersweet. They were hoping Casey would get prison time.

"Yes, we were disappointed, but at the same time grateful to North Carolina to be able to bring something to the table here, to have some sort of justice," Vance said.

SNAP members hope more can be done with the case in Virginia.

Vance feels Casey probably has more victims. "We hope they come forward. They don't have to go public. They can be private, very quiet. This is not about creating a public scene. This is for people to have justice that they need."

Casey admitted the abuse to church officials, and was removed from the priesthood in April. He served several places in East Tennessee, including Kingsport, Chattanooga, Greeneville, Rogersville, Farragut and Newport.

6 News called Casey for comment, but the phone calls weren't returned.

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