SNAP applauds indictment for ex-minister Langworthy
Today John Langworthy was indicted by a grand jury for eight counts of felony gratification for molesting five boys in the 1980’s. We are grateful to the secular authorities who pursued the claims against this predator and we are glad that the brave men and women on this jury decided to bring charges against this dangerous pedophile.
We hope that the actions taken today will encourage other victims who may have been suffering in silence to come forward, get help, tell their story and start healing. Given the nature of the crimes that he committed in both Clinton and Jackson, we are sure that there are others may have seen or suspected his crimes, and we urge them to come forward as well. Silence is a predator’s best weapon, and we are grateful to those who broke their silence to ensure that justice is served.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the globe. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747, Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)
Ex-minister indicted on sex counts
John Langworthy faces eight charges of gratification of lust
By Ruth Ingram
Former Clinton High choir teacher John Langworthy has been indicted on eight felony counts of gratification of lust in Hinds County, prosecutors say.
The Clinton resident was served with the indictment Wednesday, said Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride.
Langworthy, 49, the married father of two girls, is accused of befriending boys at two Jackson Baptist churches more than two decades ago, then sexually abusing them.
Police and prosecutors say the alleged abuses occurred in Jackson and Clinton, involve a total five boys ages 10-13 at the time, and occurred between 1980 and 1984.
Langworthy was booked Wednesday at the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond and released on his previous bond, McBride said.
He was initially arrested Sept. 7 by both Clinton and Jackson police; Clinton charged him with two counts of gratification of lust and Jackson charged him with five counts.
In the indictment, however, he is charged with eight counts of gratification of lust involving five boys, McBride said. Two of those counts stem from alleged crimes in Clinton and the other six from alleged crimes in Jackson, he said.
Jeff Rimes, Langworthy's attorney, said Wednesday he and Langworthy "have been in regular contact with the district attorney's office."
"The indictment involves the same allegations that we were already aware of, and we do continue to cooperate with the investigators," Rimes said.
Langworthy remains free on $200,000 bond on the Clinton charge and a $500,000 bond on the Jackson charge.
McBride said an investigation shows Langworthy was heavily involved with the youth choirs from 1980-84 at First Baptist Church of Jackson and Daniel Memorial Baptist Church in Jackson. The alleged abuse in Clinton happened at Langworthy's dormitory room at Mississippi College while he was baby-sitting two of the boys, McBride said.
The alleged victims in the Clinton case also are among five alleged victims in the Jackson case, McBride said.
An investigation moved swiftly after Langworthy, who resigned in May as music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, publicly told congregants during Aug. 7 services that he moved to Mississippi because of what he termed "sexual indiscretions" with young boys in Texas more than two decades ago when he was a music minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
Langworthy did not return this fall as the Clinton High Arrow Singers director.
The maximum penalty on each count is 10 years in prison and a $1,000 fine, which was the penalty at the time the alleged crimes occurred, police say.
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.