Court rules against SNAP for refusing to disclose information in abuse case
August 23, 2016
A federal judge in Missouri has chastised the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) for its "deliberate and willful refusal" to comply with a court order to release information about its campaign against a St. Louis priest.
Judge Carol Jackson did not cite SNAP for contempt of court, but she did order the group to pay legal fees incurred by Father Xiu Hui Jiang in his efforts to force disclosure of SNAP's internal correspondence. SNAP had claimed that the correspondence is privileged-- an argument the federal court rejected.
Father Jiang is suing SNAP for what his lawyer describes as a "smear campaign" in which the priest was accused of sexual abuse. Judge Jackson found that "it has been established that the SNAP defendants conspired with one another and others to obtain plaintiff's conviction on sexual abuse charges."
The court ordered SNAP to release email messages exchanged by the group's leaders and St. Louis prosecutors. It also ordered disclosure of donations to SNAP by lawyers who have represented abuse victims.
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