St. Louis, Mo., Aug 25, 2016 / 09:25 am
A group for clergy sex abuse victims made false statements “negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth” against a St. Louis priest to try to convict him on abuse charges, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson said that the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests failed to comply with a court order that the group supply details about those who accused Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang of sexual abuse. This made it impossible for him to litigate the claims against him.
Jackson said the court will establish that SNAP's statements “were false and that they did not conduct any inquiry into the truth or falsity of these public statements.”
The court will also establish that defendants conspired to secure Fr. Jiang's conviction on sex abuse charges due to “discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race, and national origin,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
SNAP must cover Fr. Jiang's “reasonable expenses, including attorneys' fees,” the court said.
The priest was criminally charged in 2014 of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom in 2011 and 2012. St. Louis prosecutors dropped the charges last year.
Soon after the criminal charges were dropped, Fr. Jiang filed a lawsuit alleging conspiracy and defamation against the boy’s parents and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris. The lawsuit also charged that police wrongly pursued him based on his religious and racial background.
The judge’s sanctions reportedly apply specifically to SNAP, not other defendants.