CLINTON, Miss. (ABP) – A support group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy is calling on a state pharmacy board to revoke a license recently issued to a former music minister awaiting trial on eight charges of felony gratification of lust.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests picketed Dec. 17 outside a Clinton, Miss., pharmacy where John Langworthy, former associate pastor of music and ministries at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, reportedly works.
SNAP says the position gives Langworthy access to drugs that he might use to tempt children.
Langworthy, 49, confessed to his church Aug. 7 to “sexual indiscretions with younger males” that he said occurred before he moved to Clinton 22 years ago. A month later police arrested Langworthy for alleged sexual abuse of five boys in the early 1980s, while he was a student at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College. A grand jury indicted him Sept. 28. He is scheduled to stand trial April 2.
The Mississippi Board of Pharmacy issued a pharmacy license to Langworthy Nov. 28. The licensing process includes a criminal background check. SNAP said Langworthy may have passed the criminal background check because of the timing of his application, but he does not meet a standard requiring that pharmacy applicants “be of good moral character.”
The group called on the state pharmacy board to immediately revoke Langworthy’s license.
“SNAP is 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 1980s,” the group said in a press release. “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.”
NBC television affiliate WLBT reported that the pharmacy’s owner would neither confirm nor deny that Langworthy is an employee.
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.