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Remember the Survivors

SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee
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Warren Tucker's letter to Bishop Richard Stika, Bishop of Knoxville

Click here for the letter to Bishop Stika in PDF format.  

Bishop Richard Stika 
Catholic Diocese of Knoxville 
805 Northshore Drive Southwest 
Knoxville, TN 37919 

Dear Bishop Stika, 

I am writing to you to ask your help. I need a clarification of something that is very troubling to me. 

On March 9, 2011, I met with Assistant District Attorney for Sullivan County, Barry Staubus. During this meeting, he revealed that William Casey had revealed six names of other victims to you sometime during the time-frame of April 14 or 15, 2010 or thereabouts. Staubus apparently had not even talked to you until March 2, 2011, only a few days before the hearing in Sullivan County, and this was the first time he had heard of this. 

I am very disturbed to know this. It brings up several questions. How could you, in light of this, tell us repeatedly that Casey said that there were probably others. The use of the words, “probably others” was your consistent phrase when asked if Casey gave you other information about other victims. In the press conference of April 15, 2010, you were very evasive about this. Every news agency asked you the same question, and it now seems you used vague language to avoid being fully honest. I see that now when I watch the news conference on your website. 

Bishop, with all due respect, giving names, whether they be full names or first names, is a far cry from “probably others.” There is nothing “probably” about names like Warren, or Tom, or Dick, or Harry. A name says, “This is a person,” It is concrete and, where I come from, your avoiding this important fact screams “cover-up.” If indeed Casey gave you any names at all, then you, Deacon Sean Smith and Father David Boettner have maintained this false and misleading position to this day by your silence. 

In the court documents, there is a statement given to Detective Chris Tincher by Deacon Sean Smith. In it, there is no mention of names of other victims being given. Why? This was a formal police statement, and you and the Catholic church have made a big deal out of the fact that you promised your people to be fully cooperative with law enforcement. Does Detective Tincher know Deacon Smith was not forthright in his official police statement? How about law enforcement in North Carolina and Virginia where Casey also abused me? Did you withhold this information from them? 

Let me be very clear. IF YOU WERE GIVEN NAMES (even first names), one of those names could have been a witness to my abuse. You have hidden a potential material witness to my abuse. That makes what you did a crime. That makes the court proceedings tainted by your attempt at cover-up. 

If you, Deacon Smith, and Father Boettner took it upon yourselves to “investigate” this privately, then you have only reinforced the fear of every catholic who was told you and the Catholic church would never do that again, that you would never keep information from law enforcement. I brings up the question of what else you have hidden. 

Also, while telling me and telling the public how much you and the catholic church care about me and my family, you allowed me to stand before the press, the public and the court as a “lone accuser” of Father William Casey. You let me stand there alone. I cannot tell you how painful that is to me. If Casey gave you even one name of another child he abused, then you have irreparably harmed the case of the State of Tennessee versus Father William Casey. I urge you to come forward immediately with answers, and this time with the truth. 

I am not asking that you “out” any victim. I am asking that you verify what ADA Barry Staubus says he was told by you. I am asking you to go to your personnel files and your canonical secret files and tell us the truth about Casey. 

I think that the people of Tennessee deserve that answer quickly. I go before the court again in a couple of weeks, and this must be cleared up before I do so. 

Sincerely, 

Warren Tucker 

cc: Deacon Sean Smith, Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, 805 Northshore Drive Southwest Knoxville, TN 37919 

Father David Boettner, rector, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 711 Northshore Drive SW Knoxville, TN 37919