"Gratification of lust?"
A Baptist minister, John Langworthy, faces charges in Mississippi of "gratification of lust." He is accused of molesting at least five kids.
He essentially admits the crimes, but fights being held responsible for them.
We're grateful Langworthy is being pursued. But we also hope that at some point, Mississippi lawmakers will reform the state's predator-friendly statute of limitations. And they should consider how they depict child sexual abuse.
It may seem like a small point - whether a predator is charged with "gratification of lust" or "child sex crimes" or whatever. But how we think and talk about these heinous crimes matters.
They're about power, not lust.
(By the way, this child molester was first "outed" by Houston SNAP leader Amy Smith, one of the most persistent and caring people I've ever met. And working with our determined Mississippi SNAP leader Mark Belenchia, she has helped bring forward other victims of Langworthy. Congrats and thanks to both of them!)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.