MO - Judge rules against archbishop
And new allegations made in clergy sex case
Amended lawsuit includes alarming details
A second top archdiocesan staffer is named
Carlson intended to foil civil lawsuit, it says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will announce that a judge is letting a high profile clergy sex abuse case - charging recent child sex crimes and cover ups by Catholic officials - move ahead. They will also disclose that “disturbing” new details about the case are filed in a new court filing, including
--20 new paragraphs about the abuse and top church officials involvement in it,
--a new “count” or charge against St. Louis’ archbishop (“spoilation”), and
--the name of a new bishop – not linked to the case before – who sent the priest to the victim.
It also includes new allegations, not made before, including that Archbishop Robert Carlson
--called the accused priest “often while the priest was in the victim’s home,”
--gave the accused priest permission to perform mass at the victim’s home,
--received a complaint that the accused was babysitting the victim’s siblings,
--ordered a church investigation into the complaint,
--told the priest to stay away from the family “until the investigation cleared him,”
--intentionally tried to “disrupt or defeat” a potential lawsuit, and
--“chose to avoid controversy” and "the result was harm to the victim."
TODAY, Thursday, November 21 at 2:30 pm
On the sidewalk in front of the “new” Cathedral at 4431 Lindell (at Newstead) in the CWE
Four to five people who are concerned Catholics or members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Earlier this month, Archbishop Robert Carlson tried to have one of the most shocking clergy sex abuse and cover ups lawsuits tossed out of court. But on Tuesday, in a two page order, Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer decided that the case will go forward. It involves repeated child sex crimes against a teenager (as recently as last year) by a cleric very close to Carlson, Fr. Joseph Jiang.
Now, that lawsuit has been amended to include new charges and some unusual details, including that Bishop Robert Herman instructed Fr. Jiang to go to plaintiff’s home to pray over the family. (Herman has never been named in connection to this suit before.)
The amended suit also accuses Carlson of intentionally trying to “disrupt or defeat” a potential lawsuit by trying to get the victim’s parents to give him a $20,000 check that Fr. Jiang had left them. (Carlson’s move indicates “fraud and a desire to suppress the truth,” the suit says.)
Other new information and/or charges include that Fr. Jiang
--performed confession in the alleged victim’s bedroom,
--“committed the crime of child enticement,” and
--“used other items provided by the archdiocese during his manipulation of plaintiffs” including his Bible and clerical garb.
Fr. Jiang also faces criminal charges.
Bishop Herman is the fourth high-ranking archdiocesan staffer linked to the Jiang case. The others are Carlson, Deacon Phil Hengen and Msgr. Joseph Pins.
(Hengen was deposed by prosecutors because he reportedly contacted the parents after Fr. Jiang had admitted abusing their daughter. Pins reportedly spoke with Jiang about a re-assignment when Jiang stayed away from the family for a few months after the girl’s parents told her that the priest was being “too affectionate and too touchy” with her.)
The ties between Carlson and Jiang are close and unusual, SNAP says. In 1983, Carlson was appointed auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where Jiang attended seminary. In 2004, Carlson was promoted to Saginaw’s bishop and brought Jiang with him. In 2009, Carlson was promoted to St. Louis’ archbishop and again brought Jiang with him. In May 2010 at the Cathedral, Carlson ordained Fr. Jiang a priest. (Before that, Jiang was a deacon at the Cathedral.) According to the suit, “Fr. Jiang lived in (Carlson’s) private residence in St. Louis and maintained a bedroom a few doors down from (Carlson’s).”
The original suit charged Carlson with knowing that Fr. Jiang “was dangerous to children before (the girl) was abused” and “supervising Jiang very closely” yet letting him have “unlimited access to (the girl).”
The original suit charged that Fr. Jiang with “regularly visited the (victim’s) home” in Lincoln County, “manipulating” her and “touching (her) breasts and genitals” and using “his hand to direct (her) hand onto his genitals” He reportedly told her to “dress more like a woman,” “used Scripture to convince” her that the abuse “was acceptable.” Jiang, the suit said, told the girl to set up a secret email account so they could communicate privately and “sent her (inappropriate) texts and emails.” (Prosecutors have some of those electronic communications in evidence for the criminal trial.)
The prosecutors handling the criminal case are Casey Brooks and Leah Askey (636 528 8571). Fr. Jiang’s lawyer is Paul D’Agrosa (314 725 8019, Paul@wolffdagrosa.com).
Jiang is around 30 years old and a native of China. Fr. Jiang’s photo, and links to articles about him, can be found at BishopAccountability.org
The victim, who is anonymous, is still a teenager and comes from a devout Catholic family.
The amended complaint was filed because Carlson’s lawyers argued that the original one was not sufficiently detailed.