Priest pleads not guilty to child molestation allegations

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A St. Louis Priest has entered a not guilty plea in a child sex abuse case.   Father Joseph Jiang is being accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy. The case came after a call to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect hotline.  Father Joseph worked at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. He was also accused of molesting a teenage girl in Lincoln County late last year.  However, those charges were dropped.

A friend of Father Jiang says this is all about money.

"Apparently it is another family,  a different family and we think this is about money and they have gone after him again," said Lucy Hannegan. "He`s a target now and so we`re concerned that he will be targeted continuously and that people are after money from him or the Archdiocese   We don `t believe in the charges. We believe Father Joseph is innocent."

But Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says,  "There are far easier ways to get money than to try to attack the church. Witness the last go around.  The church has almost unlimited resources  They are a very powerful organization. This is not an easy thing to do."

He is currently free on a $150,000 bond.

Jiang is due back in court July 21, 2014.




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