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Former SJN priest sentenced

The Rev. William “Bill” Casey, once a priest at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Farragut, pleaded guilty to “crimes against nature” in a sexual abuse case in North Carolina Tuesday, July 28.

In April, Warren Tucker contacted the McDowell County, N.C., sheriff’s department, saying Casey, who now lives in Greeneville, molested him over a five-year period in the 1970s.

In the ’70s, Casey was serving the Diocese of Nashville in East Tennessee churches.

On April 15, “Mr. Casey told me during a private meeting that there was ‘credibility’ to the accusations,” Knoxville Bishop Richard F. Stika said in a statement.

“I immediately and permanently removed his priestly faculties, in keeping with the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and our own policy on sexual misconduct.

“He will never again serve as a priest of this diocese or any diocese in the world,” Stika added.

Casey, now 76, was arrested April 19 and extradited to McDowell County for trial. He was sentenced to 24 months of supervised probation after his guilty plea.

“We have observed and fully cooperated with the judicial process,” Stika said.

Casey was priest at St. John Neumann from 1987 to 1997; he retired in 1999.

“When Mr. Tucker came to us this spring, I assured him of my prayers and those of the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Knoxville,” Stika said.

“I also apologized to him and reiterated my firm belief that the sexual abuse of minors by anyone is a travesty of the greatest magnitude and an abomination before God.

“I wish to restate my apology and my commitment to continued prayers for Mr. Tucker and his family. I applaud him and other victims of sexual abuse for their bravery in coming forward to seek healing and justice.

“I strongly encourage all victims of abuse to do the same,” he added.


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