ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Victims to hold news conference
In a first, priest sues alleged victim’s parents
SNAP leaders, police officers and city are also accused
Group to Archbishop “Why let a twice-accused predator do this?”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will discuss an unprecedented new federal lawsuit in which, for the first time ever, an accused local child molesting cleric is suing
–an alleged victim’s parents
–the police and/or
The victims will blast the priest’s “intimidating” legal maneuver and will blast the archbishop for letting him do this.
For the sake of public safety, SNAP wants Catholic officials to
–disclose the priest’s whereabouts,
–take his passport so he can’t flee overseas, and
–publicly answer troubling questions about the cleric and his relationship to the archbishop.
They will also urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the twice-accused priest’s crimes to call “independent sources of help, like therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups.”
TODAY, Friday, June 26 at 2:30 p.m.
Outside the St. Louis Cathedral on Lindell at Taylor in the city’s Central West End
Three members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Earlier this month, prosecutors dropped child sex abuse charges against a twice-accused archdiocesan priest with close ties to St. Louis’ top Catholic official but said they hope to re-file the case later.
Now, the priest is suing the alleged victim’s parents, SNAP, two police officers and the city of St. Louis claiming his religious freedom has been violated and his reputation has been besmirched.
Even though a civil child sex abuse case against the priest is pending, church staff have hinted that the suspended cleric may be put back to work in a parish. SNAP opposes that potential move and wants church staff to take the priest’s passport to prevent him from fleeing the US.
Despite an official national church policy mandating “openness” in pedophile priest cases, Archbishop Robert Carlson refuses to reveal where Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang is living, why he had a bedroom in Carlson’s home and why Fr. Jiang followed Carlson from city to city (a highly unusual arrangement in the Catholic church). Carlson also refuses to address an allegation that Fr. Jiang admitted to a girl’s parents that he’d molested their daughter and that Carlson tried to get the parents to give him the $20,000 check that the priest reportedly left on their car windshield. SNAP wants Carlson to honor his pledges to be “transparent” and publicly disclose this information.
Carlson only real response to these accusations was an eight-page civil legal filing in which he calls “baseless” the charge that he tried to tamper with evidence. On five other charges, however, Carlson basically argues that he can’t be held responsible even if the allegations in the case are true. Carlson’s lawyers want the entire civil case tossed out.
The civil suit charges that Carlson “knew (Fr. Jiang) was dangerous to children before (a girl) was abused,” last summer, asked the alleged victim’s parents for a $20,000 check the priest had given them, committing “the criminal offense of attempted tampering with evidence,” because he reportedly suggested that the girl’s parents “return to him the check.” (The parents, however, had given it to police.)
SNAP says that Carlson is “opting to fight on the technicalities, not on the merits” and “ignoring his promises of openness while adopting maneuvers of defense that cloud, rather than clarify the situation,” as he has in dozens of other, older clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
Fr. Jiang was arrested in June 2012 for repeatedly molesting a Lincoln County girl numerous times in 2012 (mostly in her home). He was charged with alleged child sex crimes and “victim tampering.” Those charges were dismissed in November 2013. In April 2014, he was arrested on charges of repeatedly molesting a St. Louis city boy between 2011-2012 (at a Catholic school). SNAP notes that it’s possible Fr. Jiang abused the boy while out on bond on charges of molesting the girl.
According to the suit, Carlson was “supervising Fr. Jiang very closely,” “knew that (he) was a danger to children” and abused the girl while “living in the archbishop’s home.”
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