Criminal charges against Fr. Jiang dropped

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The Pike County Circuit Court has dismissed criminal charges against Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, a former associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Parish.

Father Jiang was charged June 28, 2012, in Lincoln County with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child, a first-degree offense involving sexual conduct. He also was charged with witness tampering.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis had placed Father Jiang on administrative leave following a report involving alleged inappropriate contact with a high school-aged minor. The Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection notified the Missouri Division of Family Services immediately upon learning of the allegations.

According to a statement at that time from Msgr. Richard Hanneke, the archdiocese's vicar for priests, the archdiocese was fully cooperating with the investigation.

None of the conduct was alleged to have occurred at the cathedral or on any archdiocesan property, Msgr. Hanneke noted in the statement.

A statement Nov. 22 from the archdiocese said that Father Jiang "is currently subject to a canonical decree of suspension. The Archdiocesan Review Board, a board comprised of mostly lay and professional men and women, will review the situation at the appropriate time and advise Archbishop Robert J. Carlson on matters related to Father Jiang's current suspended status."

The statement added that the Archdiocese of St. Louis "encourages all persons with reports of misconduct with a minor involving a member of the clergy or other Church personnel to contact Deacon Phil Hengen, director of Child and Youth Protection, at (314) 792-7704 or the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-3738 or law enforcement officials.

Father Jiang, 30, is a native of Shandong, China. He was ordained in St. Louis in 2010. A graduate of Holy Spirit High School Seminary in Ji Nan, China, he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Holy Spirit College Seminary in Ji Nan.

A civil suit has been filed against the archdiocese and Archbishop Robert Carlson in connection with the case. 

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