William Casey (file photo)
The Tennessee Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a former Kingsport priest who was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
William Casey, 79, was convicted in 2011 of first-degree sexual misconduct and two counts of aggravated rape. He was alleged to have sexually abused an altar boy shortly after becoming a priest at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in the 1970s.
"I'm pleased that the conviction was affirmed," said District Attorney Barry Staubus. "It was a very tough case, and I'm glad the Court of Appeals affirmed it."
Casey was sentenced to 15 to 20 years on the first-degree criminal sexual misconduct and two concurrent 20-year terms on the two aggravated rape counts.
Casey was appealing on the grounds that the court should have dismissed his indictment because the trial violated his due process rights since he was made to stand trial more than 30 years after the crimes were committed.
He also argued the the court committed errors with evidence and procedural matters relating to his motion to dismiss. Casey also claimed the court failed to give special jury instructions "concerning the need to corroborate the testimony of the victim of a sex crime, as if the victim were the defendant's criminal accomplice," the official ruling stated.
The victim, Warren Tucker, did not come forward with the allegations against Casey until he was in his 40s. Tucker alleged that Casey raped him when he was in his teens.
The three-judge panel upheld the conviction.
Staubus said Casey still has the right to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.