Finally! A falsely accused priest has had enough and is not going to take it any more.
After being twice accused and cleared on wild charges of sex abuse, Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang has filed a federal lawsuit against his accusers, the lawyer-funded, anti-Catholic group SNAP, and members of the St. Louis police department for publicly accusing him of being a child molester.
Something rotten in Denmark
In both 2012 and 2014, Rev. Jiang was publicly accused of abuse charges which received wide media attention with SNAP breathlessly claiming that Jiang was a dangerous child molester on the prowl. Yet even at a glance the accusations against Jiang were clearly bogus.
In his lawsuit, Fr. Jiang sets forth a litany of facts which demonstrate just how crazy one accuser's claims were from the start:
- The accuser's fourth-grade teacher has stated that it was "virtually impossible" that Fr. Jiang pulled the accuser "out of line" at school and abused him as claimed;
- "The alleged victim had made previous unfounded allegations of sexual abuse";
- "[The accuser's] fourth-grade teacher indicated that [the accuser] was a serial exaggerator to the point of being 'delusional'";
- "[The accuser's] parents had a history of making unfounded claims against the Catholic Church for monetary gain";
- "[The accuser] has never had any personal acquaintance with Fr. Joseph, and he could not identify Fr. Joseph's name when he made the allegation";
- "[A parent of the accuser once] physically assaulted the principal of [a Catholic school] by choking him or her";
- "The accusations were brought by a deeply troubled and unreliable 12-year-old boy at the suggestion of his abusive father."
As for his suit against SNAP, Jiang argues that the trial lawyer-funded group "conducted a defamatory smear campaign against Fr. Joseph throughout the case." SNAP published media statements which were "false and malicious" and "were extremely damaging to Fr. Joseph's reputation. They were calculated to inflame public opinion against Fr. Joseph, without any regard for the truth or the facts of the case."
The priest's suit also asserts that SNAP was involved with both the accusers and St. Louis police in a "conspiracy" against Fr. Jiang.
Indeed, one of Jiang's accusers who has filed a civil lawsuit against Fr. Jiang and the Church is represented by St. Louis trial lawyer Ken Chackes, who has previously admitted to donating money to SNAP and receiving client referrals from the group. (Not that this should be a surprise to anyone.)
Pot meets kettle
The irony in all of this is that while SNAP has for years claimed in the media that Church officials have never been held "accountable" for their handling of abusive priests in the past, it has been SNAP itself which has never been held accountable for its reckless statements against innocent priests, destroying lives and reputations without consequence.
We congratulate Fr. Jiang on his lawsuit, and we hope that a successful outcome will spur other falsely accused priests to fight back as well.