ST. LOUIS – A Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis recently filed a discrimination suit against St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer Tonya LeVette Porter and the city of St. Louis alleging the defendants “destroyed the life of a promising young man and priest” after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.
According the suit filed Nov. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang "fled religious persecution in his native land of China only to face religious persecution in America in the form of unconstitutional discrimination by state officials.”
According to the lawsuit, a child’s parents “maliciously accused Father Joseph of sexually abusing their minor son for the crass motive of monetary gain.”
The complaint alleges that Porter took the parents’ side in the matter and discriminated against the priest, “targeting him for differential treatment and selective prosecution because he is a Catholic priest.”
The suit alleges that Porter and city officials believed Jiang was guilty of the sexual assault allegations before the incident was investigated.
The court filings said Jiang denied the accusations and that this was not the first time the alleged victim claimed he had been abused.
“The accusations were brought by a deeply troubled and unreliable 12-year-old boy at the suggestion of his abusive father,” the complaint said. “The alleged victim had made previous unfounded allegations of sexual abuse, and his parents had a history of making unfounded claims against the Catholic Church for monetary gain.”
The suit said widespread “public outrage against certain Catholic priests and officials who are guilty of child sex abuse” does not give Porter and city officials the right to discriminate against and humiliate Jiang “for crimes that he did not commit.”
The case was voluntarily dismissed by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, the court filing said.
The suit claims the defendants violated Jiang's rights under the First and 14th amendments.