Amy Smith's persistence brings justice in John Langworthy clergy abuse case
Reading a news report about a church camp counselor in Missouri convicted of molesting children, Amy Smith’s thoughts shot back more than 20 years.
To the day she learned John Langworthy, a seminary student and youth music minister who had befriended her family, and even stayed for a time in her home, was accused of molesting young boys at the church.
Although ministers at Prestonwood forced Langworthy to leave that church in 1989, they never reported the alleged molestation to police.
Langworthy would not be charged with a crime until 2011, a quarter century after returning home to Mississippi, when young boys he’d molested here in the early 1980s had grown into men and came forward at Smith’s urging with their stories.
Langworthy’s attorney, Jeff Rimes, said Langworthy did not want to comment for this story.
On that day in August 201...
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.