Abuse charges dropped against St. Louis priest
ST. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis circuit attorney’s office has dismissed charges against a priest accused of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom, but left the door open to refile those charges in the future.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce’s office released a statement Wednesday announcing dismissal of two felony counts against the Rev. Xiuhui “Joseph” Jiang. He had been accused of twice abusing a male victim under the age of 14 between July 2011 and August 2012.
Jiang’s attorney, Paul D’Agrosa, said the allegation was false and charges should never have been filed in the first place. He says Jiang is hopeful that the Archdiocese of St. Louis will reinstate all of his privileges.
The archdiocese issued the following statement:
The Archdiocese of St. Louis has learned that criminal charges against Fr. Joseph Jiang in the City of St. Louis Circuit Court have been dismissed.
The allegation was reported through the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline by a family who had pursued a claim against the archdiocese related to their child being bullied by other students.
During the investigation into the veracity of the abuse allegation, Fr. Joseph Jiang agreed to undergo an independent polygraph examination. According to the report released, the examiners concluded that Fr. Jiang responded truthfully in his steadfast denials of sexual abuse of a minor at any point in his life, both during his interview and polygraph examination.
Criminal charges against Fr. Jiang involving a separate allegation of inappropriate contact with a high school aged minor were dismissed in November 2013. In the dismissal order the Court noted the evidence established that Fr. Jiang had never been alone with the child. The archdiocese cooperated fully with law enforcement during the investigation of all matters related to Fr. Joseph Jiang.
Details of Fr. Jiang’s canonical status will be reviewed in light of this development.