ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The head of the Catholic church in St. Louis, Archbishop Robert Carlson, has been subpoenaed to give a deposition in the criminal case of a priest at the Cathedral Basilica accused of sexual misconduct with a teenage girl.
Court records show the Lincoln County girl was under 17 at the time of the alleged fondling by Father Joseph Jiang, who is also accused of offering money to the girl’s family five days after he was charged with the sex crime.
“This priest gave this family a $20,000 check, which apparently they turned over the police and prosecutors , and that’s why he is being charged not only with sexually violating a young girl but also tampering with a witness,” says David Clohessy, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “We don’t have any idea where that money came from and arguably it doesn’t matter. No matter whose money you use to try to tamper with a witness it’s wrong and we’re grateful that he is being prosecuted for that charge, as well as the child sex abuse.”
Jiang is free after the Archdiocese reportedly paid his $25,000 bond. Archbishop Carlson was scheduled to give his deposition next week, but it has been postponed indefinitely.
Clohessy says this is a legal first for Carlson.
“He’s been deposed in civil cases before, but we believe this is the first time in St. Louis that Archbishop Carlson has been deposed in a criminal case, and it’s a very, very recent case,” Clohessy says.
The Archdiocese declined to comment on a matter of pending criminal litigation.