ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson on Tuesday was deposed in a sexual misconduct case involving a priest in Lincoln County.
Carlson appeared at the deposition for Father Joseph Jiang, 29, who was charged in June 2012 with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and first-offense sexual conduct after he allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
The archdiocese says in a statement that the case is in the hands of the Missouri court system, where the allegations can be sorted out.
The girl’s parents filed a lawsuit in July alleging that Carlson knew Jiang was a danger to children. The archdiocese says those allegations are false.
Jiang was an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica parish and at one point lived in Carlson’s private residence. Jiang has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It is believed to be the first time a high-ranking St. Louis Catholic official gave a deposition for a sexual abuse case.
According to police, the victim told police Jiang fondled her on four separate occasions at her home in Old Monroe, Missouri between May and June of 2012.
Police said the victim and her family met Jiang through their church and became close friends with him over the past year.
Authorities said the family had Jiang over at their home and would occasionally let him spend the night because of the far drive home.
Jiang, originally from Shandong, China, earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Holy Spirit College Seminary in Ji Nan, China.
Jiang was ordained in May, 2010. He has been on administrative leave since the allegations against him were announced.