Dave Holland, former Judas Priest drummer, dead at 69

Dave Holland, ex-drummer of British heavy metal band Judas Priest, has died at age 69.

Holland died on Jan. 16 in A Fonsagrada, Spain, Spanish newspaper El Progreso first reported. The paper did not report the cause of Holland's death.

The drummer had been living in exile after serving a prison sentence for the 2002 attempted rape of a 17-year-old music student with learning disabilities, Rolling Stone reported. He was convicted in 2004 after the boy penned a letter detailing the abuse to his parents.

The band released the following statement after Holland’s death:

"It is with regret that we hear of the passing of Dave Holland. Despite his actions since working with the band, his time with us was amongst the most productive and successful in the band's career and for that alone he shall be missed."

Holland joined the band in 1979 and played on each of the band’s records from 1980’s “British Steel” to “Ram it Down” in 1988, contributing to the band’s mainstream success. He left the band in 1989.

Holland’s former bandmate, guitarist K.K. Downing, said in a statement, “Dave was a solid friend in life and solid musician both on the stage and in the studio; I will cherish the many gigs we played together and the albums that we made and I will always be grateful to the indelible contribution that Dave gave to Judas Priest.

"My sincere condolences to all of Dave's loved ones family and friends and to all of the fans that so much appreciated Dave's musical ability and his life's work.

"R.I.P. Dave."