St. Louis Priest Files Federal Lawsuit After Being Cleared of Child Sex Abuse Charges

St. Louis Post-Dispatch / RNS

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang. Photo via St. Louis Post-Dispatch / RNS

A Roman Catholic priest whose charges of sexual abuse of a boy were dropped this month has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was unfairly targeted by police, the city, and advocates for sexual abuse victims.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang claims in the suit filed June 25 in St. Louis that false abuse accusations were the result of religious and ethnic discrimination. The suit says he was denied due process under the constitution and defamed by a group that seeks justice for victims of abuse by priests.

Missouri 'Right to Pray' Amendment Passes By Wide Margin

Prayer photo, Antonov Roman /

Prayer photo, Antonov Roman /

Voters in Missouri overwhelmingly approved a "right to pray" amendment to the state's constitution on Tuesday, despite concerns about the measure's necessity and legality. 

Amendment 2, which supporters said would protect the freedom of religious expression in public schools and other public spaces, received nearly 80 percent of the vote.  

The language on Tuesday's ballot stressed the rights of citizens to express their religious beliefs and the rights of children to pray and acknowledge God in schools. It also stated that students could be exempted from classroom activities that violate their religious beliefs.

State Rep. Mike McGhee, a Republican who sponsored the amendment, said it would remind people about their religious freedoms, such as reading religious books at school. "It's OK to bring your Bible to study hall," he said.