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ST. LOUIS - A Lincoln County judge denied a request by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Archbishop Robert Carlson to dismiss a civil suit filed by the family of a girl claiming she was the victim of sexual abuse by a priest.

The lawsuit, filed after a St. Louis circuit judge dismissed abuse charges against Fr. Joseph Jiang, alleges Archbishop Carlson did not do anything to stop the molestation. The family accused Jiang of having inappropriate contact with the girl on four separate occasions. The charges were dropped in November 2013.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of St. Louis suspended Fr. Jiang from his duties pending the outcome of a separate abuse case, this one involving a 14-year-old boy. Jiang was charged with two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy – deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 14-years-old.

A group calling itself Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

"We are glad that the civil case concerning Fr. Joseph Jiang was not dismissed today on a technicality. We hope that the legal process will press on and fully exonerate Fr. Joseph Jiang."

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