Trial delayed for accused molester

Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A former Southern Baptist music minister charged with molesting five boys in the 1980s turned down a plea bargain Nov. 26 and now is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 28. That depends, however, on the outcome of a hearing Dec. 18 on a motion to dismiss the case on a legal technicality.

John LangworthyJohn Langworthy, associate pastor of music and ministries at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., prior to his arrest in September 2011 on eight charges of gratification of lust, claims the case is too old to prosecute.

Today there is no statute of limitations on child molestation in Mississippi, but there was between 1980 and 1984, when Langworthy is accused of molesting five boys between ages 10-13 that he accessed through volunteering at two local churches when he was a student at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College.

Amy Smith, Houston representative for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the fact that the legal system bends over backward to protect the rights of the accused makes it vital that churches respond appropriately to accusations or suspicion of child sexual abuse.

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