Sexual abuse victim group to defy Missouri court order

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(ST. LOUIS, AP) — An advocate for victims of sexual abuse by clergy says his group will likely not hand over personal information about people who made accusations against a priest despite an order from a St. Louis federal judge.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/29Qe0Ky ) reports that the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has until Friday to provide the information as part of a civil lawsuit filed by Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang. Jiang was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom in 2011 and 2012, but charges were dropped.
The boy’s parents, police, SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris and others are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The judge’s order said federal law does not guarantee privacy in the production of pre-trail evidence.
SNAP was ordered to produce emails and text messages sent among the defendants and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. They have also been ordered to turn over all records of donations attorneys for SNAP has made to the organization. Attorneys have said they’re looking for evidence to support their belief that Jiang was the target of a conspiracy.
The lawsuit alleges Jiang was falsely accused for monetary gain, and that police officers went after him because of his religious and racial background. It says SNAP leaders “led a smear campaign” against Jiang.
Jiang was an associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce dismissed two felony abuse charges against Jiang, and said that her officer was hopeful that charges could be refiled in the future.
Network director David Clohessy says his group cannot comply with the judge’s order.
Clohessy said Jiang’s goal “is to keep victims and witnesses and whistleblowers silent, scaring them from calling police, prosecutors, therapists and us.”
According to SNAP officials, they never had contact with Jiang’s accusers before his arrest and have already provided redacted documents to his lawyers.
Clohessy said the order is broad and appears to seek all communications about anything discussed between SNAP and its lawyers for 10 years.
“In good conscience, we feel we have absolutely no choice. We can’t comply,” Clohessy said.
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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com