For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
Today, Archbishop Robert Carlson is trying to have the most troubling child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit in the archdiocese’s history tossed out of court. Shame on him.
The suit charges Carlson with attempted witness tampering. It involves Fr. Joseph Jiang’s alleged abuse of a girl that ended in the summer of 2012. Fr. Jiang reportedly left a $20,000 check for the victim’s parents after they learned and confronted him about his crimes.
The Associated Press reports that it is Carlson, not Jiang, who’s trying today to have the case tossed out.
If Carlson did nothing wrong, why not let the suit proceed? Instead, Carlson’s trying to hide behind technicalities. If he wins, there will always be a cloud of doubt over him. So if he’s innocent, wouldst it be better for him to show this through a trial?
The St. Louis archdiocese has faced at least 100 child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits (dating back to the late 1980s or early 1990s).
In virtually every case, Carlson and his predecessors have tried to exploit legal technicalities to deny victims their day in court and keep their complicity concealed. Virtually every time.
So how does Carlson claim, with a straight face, that he and his colleagues are “learning” and “reforming” when they act the exact same way they've always acted in child sex abuse and cover up cases?
The criminal case against Fr. Jiang is pending. More evidence is always helpful. And it is our duty – as citizens – to share with police and prosecutors anything we know or suspect about possible crimes. That duty is even more pronounced when the possible crimes are sexual assault against an innocent child.
So we beg anyone who may have knowledge or suspicions of clergy sex crimes – by Fr. Jiang or other clerics – to call law enforcement immediately. If he escapes responsibility for past crimes and commits future crimes, it’s best to have a clear conscience.