SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN- A Sullivan County judge denied the request to remove himself from the case of a former Tri-Cities priest convicted of rape.

William Casey’s new attorney Frank Santore, Jr. has filed a request for a new trial.

Thursday, Santore made a motion for Judge James Goodwin to recuse, or remove, himself from the case. He claims Goodwin may be partial because he worked for the Sullivan County district attorney’s office during the time of the trial.

If no appeal is filed on the judge’s decision not to remove himself from the case, another defense request will be heard in July, the request that District Attorney General Barry Staubus and his office be removed from the case.

“Essentially he’s stating that we should recuse ourself because of an employee in the office and we’ll address that at a later time,” Staubus said.

A Sullivan County jury convicted Casey of rape and criminal sexual misconduct nearly 4 years ago. A judge sentenced him to serve 35 to 40 years in prison.

Casey’s first request for a new trial was denied by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.