Court Drops Teen Sex-Abuse Charges for Catholic Priest Joseph Jiang
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.
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.
Church members have championed Jiang's innocence from the beginning, even holding prayer events for his exoneration.
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."