MO - St. Louis priest abuse trial starts
St. Louis cleric is accused of molesting a teenage girl
For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
A St. Louis priest who allegedly molested a teenage girl last year is set to go to trial tomorrow.
The accused is Fr. Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang who was criminally charged with fondling a teenage girl (under 17) on four occasions as recently as last summer. Evidence in the case reportedly includes text messages from the victim’s phone and a recorded voice mail from Fr. Jiang.
He faces of “witness tampering” and “endangering a child.” Both are felonies.
The “tampering” charge is based on an allegation that Fr. Jiang left the girl’s parents a $20,000 check after he reportedly admitted his crimes to the girl’s parents. The following day, according to a civil lawsuit, Archbishop Robert Carlson asked if the parents would give the check to him. But they had already given it to prosecutors.
Fr. Jiang was ordained a priest by at the Cathedral in May 2010. Before that, he was a deacon at the Cathedral. He has a bedroom in the archbishop’s residence.
Fr. Jiang’s trial was originally to take place in Lincoln County last spring but it has since been moved to Bowling Green in Pike County.
The prosecutors are Casey Brooks and Leah Askey (636 528 8571). Fr. Jiang’s lawyer is Paul D’Agrosa (314 725 8019, Paul@wolffdagrosa.com).
Fr. Jiang is 31 years old and a native of China. A photo of Fr. Jiang is available at BishopAccountability.org or http://stlouisreview.com/article/2010-05-18/introducing-our-new-0
Last month, prosecutors deposed Carlson and one of his top aides (Deacon Phil Hengen) in the case.
“We believe it’s the first time any St. Louis archbishop has been deposed in any clergy sex case – criminal or civil,” said SNAP’s David Clohessy. “Nationally, it’s rare that members of the church hierarchy are deposed in these cases and even rarer when it’s a criminal case.”
SNAP also questions whether Carlson will or should face similar criminal “tampering” charges.
The civil lawsuit – filed in July - charges Carlson with six offenses, including attempted tampering with evidence, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional failure to supervise clergy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The victim is represented by St. Louis attorney Ken Chackes (369 3902).
“There are 52 proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics in the St. Louis archdiocese,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “There have been, we suspect, more than 100 civil clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuits here. None of the cases, however, are as alarming as this one.”
SNAP claims that Carlson has “basically stayed silent” about this case. The archdiocesan newspaper’s website mentions Fr. Jiang 11 times. One of those stories, more than a year ago, mentions Fr. Jiang’s arrest. None mention the civil suit or the depositions or Fr. Jiang’s current whereabouts.
“We hope every single person who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups here will find the courage to call police, prosecutors, therapists, support groups and other independent sources, so that this horror doesn’t continue,” said Dorris.
See how the Fr. Joseph Jiang case in St. Louis is like the Fr. Shawn Ratigan case in Kansas City: