Friday, December 16, 2011

John Langworthy Update


WLBT-TV >> Group spotlights sex offender's working at local drug store

For immediate release:

Admitted child molesting cleric gets state license

Group urges government agency to rescind it immediately

He was at Clinton church and now works at local pharmacy

Man currently faces eight felony counts of ‘gratification of lust’


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a man who was sexually assaulted by a priest will disclose that

-- An admitted child molester now works now at a local drug store, and

-- He was recently licensed by the state of Mississippi as a pharmacy technician

The victims group will also

-- Announce that his group is writing Mississippi officials urging that they revoke the predator’s license, and

-- Urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered the predator’s crimes to come forward, get help, protect kids, call police and start healing.


SATURDAY, Dec. 17, 1:00 p.m.


Outside the Medicap pharmacy, 821 E. Northside Drive (corner of Live Oak) in Clinton, MS


A Jackson man and clergy sex abuse victim who is the primary contact in Mississippi for an independent support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (


SNAP has learned that an admitted child molester, John Langworthy, has – within the last month – obtained his Pharmacy Technician license from the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy and now works at Medicap Pharmacy.

Langworthy was indicted last month on criminal charges of eight felony counts of gratification of lust stemming from allegations that he abused five different children while he worked as a youth music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church.

SNAP is concerned because in order to get his license, Langworthy would have needed to pass a background check in order to prove he is of “good moral character.”

While he may have passed the criminal background check because of the timing of his application, his indictment and crimes indicate that he is clearly not of “good moral character,” and SNAP wants the MS Board of Pharmacy to immediately revoke his license. SNAP is also concerned because this job could feasibly put Langworthy within access to drugs with which he could tempt young children today as he did in the 1980’s.

And the group believes that any time a predator is given a title or position of responsibility, he or she will try to use it to win the trust of parents and get close to kids.

Associated Baptist Press >> Former music minister indicted


Mark Belenchia,, 601-953-2535

Amy Smith,, 281-748-4050

David Clohessy,, 314-566-9790 cell

Barbara Dorris

Outreach Director


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests


New BBC Open Forum said...

That doesn't look like much of a pharmacy. I guess I'm used to Walgreens, etc. Note it's located next to a large bowling alley where kids are likely to hang out.

Anonymous said...

Leave him alone. He has a right to support his family. He is being charged with crimes from decades ago and has done nothing since then.

New BBC Open Forum said...

And you know this for a fact, Anonymous?

I'm going to remind people once again, I've opened up the blog to anonymous comments in the past few months, but I've repeatedly respectfully requested that people choose a unique screen name and stick with it. I may make that a requirement for posting if we keep getting a bunch of comments from "Anonymous." Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Again, how does someone indicted on over half a dozen counts of "gratification of lust" who is out of jail on $500,000 bond while awaiting trial manage to pass a criminal background check and be considered of "good moral character"?

I have no problem with letting him work to help support his family, but let it be somewhere where he doesn't have access to drugs or any possible contact with children.

David said...

Anon said "he has done nothing since"; Boy I agree with you. He has yet to tell the truth; let alone admit it.

I would bet you that there are several young men that wished JL had taken your advice and left them alone. But wait that thing happened so many years ago; why worry about the effects of it now? Then if it isn't relevant why is the DA proceeding? Do you reckon he committed some sexual crimes against innocent young boys? I would call those criminal acts. If he would just man up and admit it again he wouldn't need a job. The Mississippi penal system will have a job for him.

For one I wish he would act like a Christian and tell the truth; but I don't hold my breath for that. I sure hope that famous state rep didn't pull some strings to help him get that state license. Now that would be bad. Gosh there are still LOTS of questions. Do you really think we will get HONEST answers?

David Brown

Amy Smith said...

Chad Foster, former Second Baptist Church youth pastor arrested again on new charges

"If you're a person who does a lot of fishing, where do you go? You go to the water where the fish are. Same with predators," said Sgt. Gary Spurger of the Precinct 4 Constable's Office. He said there are more victims in this case that he's heard want to come forward but haven't done so yet.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Hmmm... seems like that's not the first pervert I've recently heard of who passed through Second Baptist. Are all these megachurches really cesspools, or are these creeps just attracted to megas because there are more "fish" and they can better hide in plain sight?

Amy Smith said...

Vigilance: the only protection against child sexual abuse

ClintonCitz said...

First of all, I do know John & have known him for 30 years. I've read the posts here, comments, allegations, etc. I was in church when John read his statement as well. I'm not saying John is innocent or anything of the sort. But if John is working & obtained a license - I'm sure he was investigated. But don't bother a person's place of business. I know the people who own this pharmacy & they're very sweet & caring Christian people. John is trying to work & provide for his family until this matter goes to court. The courts will decide his punishment, it's not up to us.

Amy Smith said...

His indictment and crimes show clearly that he is not of “good moral character.” So we want the MS Board of Pharmacy to immediately revoke his license. We are also concerned because this job could give Langworthy access to drugs with which he could tempt young children today as he did in the 1980s.

And we believe that any time a predator is given a title or position of responsibility, he or she will try to use it to win the trust of parents and get close to kids.

No one should be hungry or jobless or homeless. If Langworthy wants to work, fine. But he should look for work that doesn’t confer a title or trust or respect. He needs to be in an office or a warehouse or a plant or a post with little or no contact with the public – especially kids -

And anyone who hires him should tell customers, neighbors and other employees that he’s an admitted child sex offender.

Amy Smith said...

If you were abused by John Langworthy during his time in Dallas or have information about his crimes of sexual abuse of boys in Dallas, please call Sgt. Byron Fassett in the Dallas police child exploitation unit at 214-671-4200. I have spoken with Byron. He is ready to take your call. If you have to leave a message, please do. He will call you back. You can mention my name, Amy Smith, if necessary.

Amy Smith said...

Dale Hansen's Sports Segment on WFAA Dallas: Thank God for Kids: speaking out for the very first time about his abuse as a child

Amy Smith said...

Sex-abuse survivor Jimmy Carlino doesn't want alleged Syracuse and Penn State victims to suffer in silence

Carlino will talk about his experience at 2:30 pm on Friday on, the web station run by South Florida radio personality Jeff De Forest.

Carlino recently sent the Daily News an open letter to the alleged victims in the Penn State and Syracuse sex-abuse scandals about what he went through after he went public about the abuse, and what they can expect:

You may read or hear where people in the community show support of these manipulative predators. Don't let any of this hurt you.

I don't want you to feel alone. You're gonna hear he's innocent until proven guilty (he'll always be guilty in your heart and soul regardless of any outcome). You may hear, you're in it for the money. We know that's hogwash, because why would anyone admit that somebody violated them for a payday? Coming forward takes so much strength and courage. You're a hero to so many, including the many other victims who live in silence forever. It takes strength just to survive these atrocities and try to live a normal life.

Our healthy sexual curiosity was distorted through the workings of a sexual deviant. Our curiosity was normal. We did nothing wrong, they did.

Please tune in if you can. If you want to reach us immediately, you can email Father Bob at Road to Recovery or myself, Jim Carlino, at or call us at 862-368-8200. Your calling us or contacting us will be held in the strictest confidence. We will be honored and proud to help you in any way possible. We mean that from one victim to another to another. There are no hidden agendas. We only want you to know you're not alone and there are people out there who love you, support you and admire you.

It's time to stop running and enjoy your life...

CarolAnne said...

Occasionally I still think of how Steve got away with protecting the prayer minister for 9 months, Paul Williams, who sexually assaulted his own son for years. And you will remember that when Mike Spradlin, president of MidAmerican Seminary, spoke against Steve's huge error (read..sin), that he was no longer invited back as guest speaker. Yet Steve continues to rack up more and more money and many more trips and avoidance of Wednesday preaching. I am still livid over why Steve was not fired, but I should know by now that he lives and breathes money; he always tells us to give more and more, it's never enough.

CarolAnne said...

And as a footnote, I guess most now know Mr. Williams is employed at Warren Community Church in Somerville, Tn. He lives in a house appraised at approx. $250,000 and still has free rein to be around children. Totally unbelievable.

Amy Smith said...

Encouraging survivors of sexual abuse

What was little understood years ago was the nature of the compulsion - that abusers were often unable to resist future temptation, especially if they were around kids (which they often were, partly because many pedophiles choose jobs that keep them near their targets.

In the Catholic Church, priests who confessed and said the required prayers were forgiven (forgiveness being, after all, the business the church is in). His superiors might transfer him to another parish without realizing that, penitent though the abuser may have been, they were only providing him with a new source of victims.

Sexual abuse is a real threat to children, and it deserves our attention. And sexual contact with children is a crime, so sweeping it under the rug is a crime, too.

Anonymous said...

Another hidden incident that started in the Alabaster Alabama, Westwood Baptist Church in 1992, expanded to as many as 25 victims today in several public schools.


and the current pastor says

"During the 1992 investigation, [Daniel Montague] Acker was serving as a youth pastor at Alabaster’s Westwood Baptist Church. Westwood Baptist Church Executive Pastor Rick Swing said he was not with the church when Acker was attending or serving as a pastor at Westwood, but he said his church has taken steps over the years to protect children in the church."

Pastors react to Acker’s arrest

go Pastors go

Amy Smith said...

a quote by a local pastor in the article linked in the above comment by anonymous:

“In hindsight, I wish they would have found somewhere else to have it,” Shaw said. “I apologize to Beverly Watson, the victims and their families for allowing an event to be held in our facility which provided support for someone who used his position to prey on innocent children.”

A week after John Langworthy resigned from Morrison Heights Baptist Chuch, Greg Belser hosted a reception of appreciation for him at the church. Belser heard directly from John that he had molested young boys and heard directly from victims what John did to them - continual sexual abuse for upwards of 2 years.

Amy Smith said...

This is excellent. Parents and anyone concerned with protecting children, which should be all of us: MUST READ.

Eight Common Myths about Child Sexual Abuse by The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence

In fact, Dr. Salter has found that the life a child molester leads in public may be exemplary, almost surreal in its righteousness. In her book, Dr. Salter presents the following description written by a child molester who had used his position as a church choir director to gain access to boys.

I want to describe a child molester I know very well. This man was raised by devout Christian parents. As a child he rarely missed church. Even after he became an adult he was faithful as a church member. He was a straight A student in high school and college. He has been married and has a child of his own. He coached Little League baseball. He was a Choir Director at his church. He never used any illegal drugs. He never had a drink of alcohol. He was considered a clean-cut, All-American boy. Everyone seemed to like him. He was a volunteer in numerous civic community functions. He had a well-paying career job. He was considered "well-to-do" in society. But from the age of 13-years-old he sexually molested little boys. He never victimized a stranger. All of his victims were friends. . . I know this child molester very well because he is me!!!!

Soon after writing this, the author of this confession was released on parole. Upon release, he quickly infiltrated a church where he molested children until he was again caught and returned to prison" (Salter, 2003, pp. 36-37).

Salter, A. C. (2003). Predators: Pedophiles, rapists and other sex offenders: Who they are, how they operate, and how we can protect ourselves and our children . New York: Basic Books.

Anonymous said...

"Upon release, he quickly infiltrated a church where he molested children until he was again caught and returned to prison"

Fits right in, a world of forgiveness and forgetfulness...

The Church

Amy Smith said...

Penn State's Tim Curley and Gary Schultz: The "Guardians of Silence" on trial

Amy Smith said...

Denver Post letter: Childhood sexual abuse thrives in secrecy

I am writing to speak on behalf of the victims of childhood sexual abuse. Having been sexually abused as a young boy at Boy Scout camp, I know the shame, aloneness and powerlessness that I have felt because of this. The disturbing abuse at Penn State makes me realize that the shame that kept me from speaking is what enables abusers to go undetected. Abuse thrives in secrecy. The healing of abuse begins with speaking the truth of it. It is important for those of us who have been wounded by this to speak out, in order to heal ourselves and to encourage and support other victims to speak out. Let us put the shame back where it belongs and is needed, on the abuser and the institutions which have enabled this abuse to occur. Putting an end to child sexual abuse starts with truth and accountability, not damage control.

John Isaacs, Carbondale

This letter was published in the Jan. 12 edition.

Amy Smith said...

Earlier this week I was asked to be on a live radio show in Houston. Here is the interview:

Amy Smith- Houston SNAP leader on AM740 KTRH Houston morning news with Matt Patrick

New BBC Open Forum said...

John Langworthy Trial Date Set for July 30th

Amy Smith said...

paging "truthseeker" -

comment from a previous post:

[truthseeker said...
BBC, I know for a FACT that the Prestonwood youth were 16 and over, not 6 as you stated. There were NO children involved. You need to know the facts before you make erroneous statements as you did above. Quit making stuff up!
10:04 PM, September 11, 2011]

Heritage of Abuse

Under Texas law, ministers and clergy are required to report any suspected child abuse ― sexual or otherwise ― to authorities within 48 hours of being told, otherwise they too are committing a criminal offense. A child is defined as anyone under the age of 18.

Anonymous said...|mostpopular|text|FRONTPAGE

Can you believe this?! They are saying that the statute of limitations may come into play...i sure hope JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED!!!

Anonymous said...

Valeria, not anonymus*

I was a student of his at Clinton High School and honestly, he was the best teacher I have ever had and I can confidently say that the rest of us who were part of his choir class felt the same way. He committed terrible things before I knew him, but while i did...he was an incredible human being. He never did anything disrespectful or crossed any sort of boundaries. If I'm posting this is because he's not a monster like so many of the ignorant comments try to make him out to be. Let him work in peace, he's not the person he was before and i know this from his actions of my 4 years of high school. He was a talented choir teacher and dear friend who was always willing to help and listen to our problems. People change and when they're constantly criticized for their past mistakes, it does not help but further hurt the emotional problems they had. He has openly confessed what he did, let justice take care of it. People need to be a proactive help to child molestation, not a hurtful being who keeps inflicting pain on the individual who's already paying for his actions in the way the law decides.

Amy said...

These brave victims are to be commended for speaking out and exposing the truth about John Langworthy sexually abusing them as children. He is the one who caused suffering. Tragically, it's ignorant attitudes and comments like the one above that keeps victims silent. And predators like John count on people like that in his life to support, cover for him and enable him to continually abuse kids for decades.

Child predators like John are cunning and manipulative, masters of deception. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie and scare their victims into silence.

Predators appear to do a lot of good things. They can be very charismatic like John, and you would think they would never be capable of harming a child. They have to be this way in order to not get caught. I knew John this way for 5 years in Dallas from 1984-1989, yet from 1980-1984 he had been sexually molesting boys in Mississippi. He continued to do that while I knew him. But we had no idea of the truth.

Predators don't molest every child they meet and get to know. This is to provide cover for their evil actions against the kids they decide to target and prey upon.

If John had suddenly "changed" on his own as the anonymous commenter believes he did, he would have turned himself in to the Dallas police when he was fired from Prestonwood in 1989 or years earlier in MS, naming every one of the kids he sexually abused. He has never had any intervention or accountability for his child sex crimes. These are not mistakes. These are crimes he committed. He lied to Greg Belser, Philip Gunn and the other elders in April 2011 promising them he only had 2 victims. He was indicted for 5, but there are many, many more.

The truth is that he is a serial child sexual predator. Kids are safest when predators are behind bars.

John is to blame for any suffering he is experiencing. Not his victims. Not those telling the truth about him.

Silence only helps the predators. By speaking up there is a chance for healing and justice, exposing the truth and protecting others. Don't wait. It's critical that others who have suffered John's crimes come forward and call the police. You aren't to blame. You will be believed. You are not alone.

Amy Smith

New BBC Open Forum said...

I was a student of his at Clinton High School and honestly, he was the best teacher I have ever had and I can confidently say that the rest of us who were part of his choir class felt the same way.

I'm sure he's very charming and probably a very good teacher. So what? Pedophiles are often very charming -- at first. That's how they attract their prey.

He never did anything disrespectful or crossed any sort of boundaries.

You're female, right? There have been no reports of him bothering girls, so I wouldn't expect him to have "crossed any sort of boundaries" with you. I bet some of your male classmates saw a different side of him.

Ask yourself and some of your former classmates if he didn't surround himself with a group of boys. Then ask yourself why that was. Did any of your other teachers have a "posse"?

People change and when they're constantly criticized for their past mistakes, it does not help but further hurt the emotional problems they had.

"Past mistakes"? You call molesting a child a "mistake"? I'm afraid your definition of "mistake" and mine differ greatly! The only reason John Langworthy "confessed" to his "past mistakes" is because the police were closing in on him. It was a pre-emptive strike orchestrated by Greg Belser and JL's handlers who were likely worried about their own complicity in harboring a pedophile.

He has openly confessed what he did, let justice take care of it.

What has he confessed to? He has pled INNOCENT to all charges! The only thing he "confessed" to was "sexual indiscretions with younger males." He was not under oath, and "younger" doesn't necessarily equal "minor." He chose his words carefully for a reason.

Now he's trying to get all the charges dropped because he claims the statute of limitations has expired. That doesn't sound like a man who has confessed OR taken resposibility for his actions in any way. All John Langworthy is doing is trying to avoid any accountability for his actions and to save his sorry ass, and people like you are supporting his efforts! Please get your head out of the sand. I understand it's painful to think someone you admire is not what he appears to be, but sometimes the truth hurts. You sound young. Your enthusiasm is good, but it's misplaced. The sooner you realize that people not only can but will disappoint, the better prepared you'll be to handle life.

I will be the first to stand and applaud John Langworthy if he confesses to ALL his past crimes (dropping from his vocabulary words like "indiscretions" and "mistakes") AND changes his plea to guilty of the crimes he's truly guilty of. (Only he and his victims know the whole truth, but I don't see some big conspiracy on the part of these young men across two states to smear the good name of John Langworthy.) Then we can "let justice take care of it."

Here is a good example of what we're talking about.

These people knew of this guy's past, but they stood behind him anyway. Only now do they really not have a choice but to admit they were wrong. Except some of them still aren't admitting it. "People change." Unfortunately, pedophiles usually don't. Do you want to take that chance with your children?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Eddie Struble