KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A former Knoxville priest convicted of child rape has been formally removed from the priesthood.
William Casey was sentenced in 2011 to a 35-year prison term for aggravated rape and sexual misconduct in a case dating back to the 1970s.
The Vatican notified Knoxville Bishop Richard Stika that Pope Benedict XVI has dismissed Casey.
Stika made the announcement on Jan. 10 and asked for continued prayers for victim Warren Tucker, a former altar boy at Casey's church, and also for Casey and his family.
Casey's attorney's filed an appeal of his conviction last month.