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Friday, November 22, 2013

Court Drops Teen Sex-Abuse Charges for Catholic Priest Joseph Jiang

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Joseph Jiang
  • Joseph Jiang

Criminal charges against a Cathedral Basilica priest accused of sexually abusing a teen in his parish were dropped earlier this month.

Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, 30, was not alone with the victim, the court ruled, so child-endangerment and witness-tampering charges have been dropped, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

See also: Rev. Xiuhui "Joseph" Jiang Charged with Fondling Child

Two circuit judges filed to dismiss the charges on November 18, and the case was officially dismissed from court record Thursday, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The family of the victim still has a civil lawsuit pending against the archdiocese and Archbishop Robert Carlson for knowingly allowing a sexual predator to interact, unsupervised, with children.

Nicole Gorovsky, one of the Chakes, Carlson & Halquist lawyers handling the civil suit, says she doesn't think the news will affect the lawsuit.

"I think our case is a very strong one," Gorovsky says. "I don't think this means anything."

The family recently amended the lawsuit to include disturbing details and witness accounts of abuse.

See also: Lawsuit: Priest Asked Teen to Dress Like a Woman, Not a Child, Before Sexual Abuse

Church members have championed Jiang's innocence from the beginning, even holding prayer events for his exoneration.

See also: Churchgoers Defend St. Louis Priest Accused of Sex Abuse, Pray in Private Meetup Group

The victim advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says it is calling for more witnesses to step forward and bring evidence of sexual abuse from Jiang to the police.

"We are fearful there are other victims," says SNAP member Barbara Dorris. "Everybody has a responsibility in this case to come forward and tell the truth, to come forward and help."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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