A Catholic priest from St. Louis accused of sexual crimes with a minor was granted continuance Monday, just a day before he was slated to be seen in a Pike County courtroom for trial by jury.
Father Xiuhui “Joseph” Jiang, 30, of the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, was scheduled for a two-day jury trial to begin Oct. 1. This continuance grant will yet again delay his case, which began over a year ago in Lincoln County.
Jiang was charged in the summer of 2012 with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child First Degree – First Offense – Sexual Conduct after he reportedly had inappropriate, sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl on several occasions earlier in the year.
The priest, who was a friend of the victim’s family, is also charged with felony witness tampering after he allegedly admitted his actions and placed a check for $20,000 on the victim’s family car.
The trial further alleges he sent the victim’s mother a text message explaining he left the money because of his “stupidity.”
According to a release made by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department at the time of the suspect’s arrest, the family of the young girl met Jiang through their church.
The release continues to say the victim’s parents explained Jiang was from China and had no family or friends nearby, prompting their friendship.
Records indicate the priest was invited to the family’s residence on many occasions over a year’s span. The suspect was also invited to stay overnight a few times because of his long drive back to St. Louis from their home in Old Monroe.
Allegedly transferred to Pike County to avoid publicity, Jiang was to be seen this week for jury trial. According to available records, the trial of cause was “removed from setting of Oct. 1 and 2, 2013, as per C.K.M.” (Chris Kunza Mennemeyer).
The Bowling Green Times will have more information on the pending trial as it becomes available.