July 17, 2013

CCH FILES LAWSUIT ALLEGING DIRECT INVOLVEMENT BY ARCHBISHOP OF ST LOUIS IN FAILING TO SUPERVISE ABUSIVE PRIEST

CCH attorneys Ken Chackes and Nicole Gorovsky filed a new lawsuit on behalf of a young teenage girl and her parents, seeking to hold the Archdiocese of St Louis and Archbishop Robert Carlson responsible for the injuries they caused due to sexual abuse of the young girl by a priest.  The accused priest, Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, was personally supervised by Archbishop Carlson since the priest was moved from China to the United States, while Carlson was a Bishop in Michigan.  Fr. Jiang moved with Carlson to St Louis when he became Archbishop, and lived in the Archbishop’s residence.

The young girl first met Jiang when she was fifteen years old and she attended church with her family at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis.  Jiang became very close to the family and he regularly visited their home in Lincoln County, Missouri.

The Archdiocese and Archbishop had at least two warnings about Jiang.  During the time that Jiang was getting close to the young girl, he reported to his superiors that he needed a reassignment because he was having personal problems.  But despite the warnings, Jiang was allowed to resume unlimited access to this young girl and her family.

After the parents discovered the abuse, they confronted Fr. Jiang about it, and Jiang admitted it to them.  He then tried to give them a $20,000 check.  Archbishop Carlson soon called the parents and told them that Fr Jiang also admitted the wrongdoing to him.  During that conversation, the mother asked Carlson if Jiang would be removed from the priesthood and Archbishop Carlson responded that he would remove Jiang if he “had sex” with the child, but not for activities other than that.   Archbishop Carlson then suggested that the parents return the $20,000 check to him.

Instead, the parents turned the matter over to the police.  Jiang is now being prosecuted criminally for two felonies, for engaging in sexual conduct with the child and for victim tampering by trying to pay the family to let the matter drop.  The criminal case is being prosecuted by the Prosecuting Attorney of Lincoln County.

Fr Jiang’s conduct of enticing and sexually abusing this young girl caused her and her family a great deal of emotional harm.  And the conduct of Archbishop Carlson, in failing to protect this family and then betraying them by minimizing Fr Jiang’s behavior and requesting they turn over evidence to him instead of the police, has added to that harm.

We encourage anyone with information about Fr Jiang to contact law enforcement authorities.

The lawsuit was filed on July 12, 2013, in the Circuit Court of Lincoln County, Missouri.  A link to a copy of the Petition is below.

Petition