By HANA KIM6 News Reporter
BLOUNTVILLE (WATE) - Former East Tennessee priest William Casey was sentenced Wednesday in Sullivan County to serve at least a 35-year sentence for raping a teen altar boy.
Casey was convicted in July on aggravated rape and sexual misconduct charges. He has been held in custody since then.
He received between 15 and 20 years on the first count. The judge combined the second and third counts for a sentence of 20 years. The total sentence is at least 35 years and not more than 40.
Casey will be eligible for parole after serving 30% of his sentence.
The case dates to when Casey was a priest at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Kingsport in the 1970s and the victim, Warren Tucker, served as a teen altar boy.
The state was seeking a 50-year sentence for Casey.
In his impact statement, Tucker, who's now 46, said from the ages of 10-16, Casey subjected him to sex acts more than 50 times. He said the abuse ruined marriages, friendships and jobs.
"The pain inside is so deep, it makes you grit your teeth until they break," Tucker said.
Casey's attorney, Rick Spivey, argued that Casey is not a dangerous man and has done a lot of good in his life.
The defense asked for a 15-year sentence, arguing it would take into account Casey's life's work not just his conviction.
After the sentence was pronounced, the defense said it will seek a new trial. A hearing is scheduled for March 5.
"At 77 years old, this is effectively a life sentence and it's
appropriate," Tucker said. "I shed no tears for him because I spent almost my whole
life suffering in silence."
Casey pleaded guilty in July 2010 to crimes against nature in North Carolina and he's still facing charges in Scott County, Virginia. Both cases involve William Tucker.
As a priest, Casey served several places in East Tennessee, including Chattanooga, Greeneville, Rogersville, Farragut, Newport and Kingsport.