The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, April 19, 2010
TN predator priest arrested in NC; SNAP responds
Statement by David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790)
We are grateful this predator, Fr. Casey, is in custody and away from kids.
It’s crucial that others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes keep coming forward to police and prosecutors. Many times, when a predator is arrested, others with information about his crimes stay silent, assuming that he’ll be convicted and jailed. But child molesting clerics often get superb defense lawsyers and get off on technicalities or get very light sentences. So it’s important that others with knowledge of Casey’s misdeeds continue speaking up and calling law enforcement.
We call on Knoxville’s bishop to personally go to each parish where Casey worked and beg victims and witnesses to break their silence, get some help, contact law enforcement, and help protect kids.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the globe. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)
Update: Retired priest to face sex crimes charge in North Carolina
WBIR.com Updated: 4/19/2010 1:52:21 PM Posted: 4/19/2010 12:07:04 PM
A retired priest accused of repeated sexual abuse of a child decades ago in Tennessee and once in North Carolina has been taken into police custody.
Father Bill Casey has been suspended from any priestly activities for life, the Knoxville Diocese said Thursday, after admitting to sexually abusing a young parishioner from 1975 to 1980.
The victim, Warren Tucker, came forward with the allegation last week.
Diocese of Knoxville Chancellor Sean Smith confirmed that Casey is now in police custody, after being taken in early Monday morning. Casey lives in Greene County.
A criminal investigation had previously been underway against Casey in McDowell County, North Carolina.
The Greene County complaint on which Casey was arrested said he was a "fugitive from justice by having an outstanding arrest warrant out of McDowell County North Carolina for first degree sexual offense."
The complaint indicates the McDowell County Sheriff's Department will seek to extradite Casey to North Carolina to face trial.
The Diocese of Knoxville released a statement around noon Monday:
Greene County officials took Father Bill Casey into custody early on Monday, April 19, said Deacon Sean Smith, chancellor of the Diocese of Knoxville.
Last week Warren Tucker contacted the diocese to say that Father Casey, a priest of the Diocese of Knoxville, had sexually abused him in the 1970s. The following day Father Casey told Bishop Richard Stika there was "credibility" to the accusations.
In a letter that was to be read last weekend at all East Tennessee parishes, Bishop Stika wrote, "I ask you to join me in praying for all victims of abuse throughout the world. I also ask you to pray for Father Casey. God's mercy knows no bounds, but for Father Casey, who must now answer to the justice that is due, we pray that his own prayers and penance will bring divine assistance in bringing healing to the victims and to our local Church."
In the letter, Bishop Stika apologized to Mr. Tucker and to anyone else who may have been harmed by Father Casey or by anyone in authority in the diocese. "I applaud Mr. Tucker and all the brave men and women-the victims and their families-for seeking healing and justice, and I strongly encourage any victim of abuse to come forward."
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests