Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Child predator John Langworthy to face trial

*UPDATE* Langworthy pleads guilty

If you were a victim of Langworthy’s child sex crimes in Dallas, please call Doreen in the Dallas police department at 214-671-4211. The Dallas police department wants to hear from you and she’ll be expecting your call. Doreen is the report intake specialist for the child abuse/exploitation unit and is a trained counselor.

If you were or are a victim now of Langworthy's child sex crimes in Mississippi, please call Josh Frazier in the Clinton Police Department at 601-925-6106 or call the main number and ask for Josh at 601-924-5252.



We are grateful that the case against John Langworthy will move forward. Delaying or denying the trial would only have endangered kids and hurt victims. An eight-count indictment charges him with sexually molesting five boys between the ages of 6-13 between April 1980 and December 1984, with the alleged abuse occurring at the boys’ Jackson homes, Langworthy’s sister’s home in Jackson, or in Langworthy’s dorm room at Mississippi CollegeWe applaud these brave survivors who have come forward to seek justice and protect other kids. One of them expressed that he is “relieved, overjoyed and hopeful that this will give other victims a voice both here in Mississippi and in Texas.”

Now, more than ever, anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered sex crimes at the hands of John Langworthy should come forward and make a report to police. Children are safer when predators like Langworthy are behind bars. The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids.
The only people mad at you for speaking the TRUTH are those living a lie. Keep speaking it.





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Enabling a serial child sexual predator: Prestonwood Baptist Church and John Langworthy

UPDATE: Judge rules Langworthy will face trial.

If you were a victim of Langworthy’s child sex crimes in Dallas, please call Doreen in the Dallas police department at 214-671-4211. The Dallas police department wants to hear from you and she’ll be expecting your call. Doreen is the report intake specialist for the child abuse/exploitation unit and is a trained counselor.


If you were or are a victim of Langworthy's child sex crimes in Mississippi, please call Josh Frazier in the Clinton Police Department at 601-925-6106 or call the main number and ask for Josh at 601-924-5252.




Our hearts ache for Langworthy's victims who, once again, are being forced to wait for justice. But in one sense, the real culprit isn't Langworthy or the justice system, but his former colleagues and supervisors at two churches who chose to protect Langworthy and their institutions over children, Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas, Texas and Morrison Heights Baptist in Clinton, Mississippi.

The justice system is designed to bend over backwards to be fair to the accused. And Langworthy is fighting for himself, using every technicality he can, just like almost every child molester does.

But we shouldn't lose sight of the complicity of these church officials. Had even one of them done the absolute bare minimum, obeyed the law, and reported - even anonymously - their suspicions or knowledge of Langworthy's crimes or inappropriate deeds to police, he would almost certainly have been stopped years ago from hurting more kids.

The public message sent by Morrison Heights Baptist Church has been one of support for Langworthy as seen on video (embedded below) at his confession. There is not one word of support for the children sexually abused by John. It's all about him (sounds like Sandusky). He planned it that way. This confession is a tactic of manipulation to continue to silence others from coming forward since he says there have been no more "indiscretions" since 1989. And we're supposed to take a confessed child molester at his word? If he was repentant, he would have turned himself into the police right after this public confession (or 22 years before) and named every single one of his victims and asked for justice to be done so they can heal. He confessed only after he was exposed. The right message they and Prestonwood Baptist should send publicly is one of support for the brave survivors that have already come forward and to urge anyone else harmed by Langworthy to call the police immediately, come forward with no blame or shame, get help, begin healing and protect others.


Watch John Langworthy's August 7, 2011 Statement at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Faith & Lifestyle  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com


If Langworthy's superiors at Prestonwood had actually acted on the information they had about his crimes in 1989 instead of trying to cover them up, Langworthy would have been jailed long ago. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and he was allowed to move on to unsuspecting churches, schools and communities placing even more kids at risk by enabling his serial predatory behavior.

While we hope the secular justice system may finally discipline Langworthy, the question remains: are church authorities - at these two congregations or higher up the Baptist hierarchy - going to discipline church staff who ignored or concealed Langworthy's crimes, allowing him to walk free and hurt others? For church authorities to do nothing about those who enable child sex crimes is inexcusable and only encourages other church staff to act irresponsibly in the future.

We hope that anyone else who at any time has seen, suspected or suffered abuse by Langworthy will call police immediately, get help, start healing and protect other kids from him. See here for helpful contact information on reporting John's crimes in Texas and Mississippi. If I can be of any assistance, please email me at spacecitysnap@gmail.com or call me at 281-748-4050. Your call and/or email is confidential.

Contact Mississippi Crime Stoppers (central MS) or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by phone or secure web form.

To report abuse by Langworthy or other perpetrators that occurred in Dallas at Prestonwood Baptist Church, call the Dallas Police Child Exploitation Unit at 214-671-4211. Your call will be answered by an experienced and trained counselor who will take your report. If you need to leave a message, your call will be returned.

Some of John Langworthy's recent grooming behavior has come to my attention from several sources. This behavior dates back to my memory of interactions with victims in Dallas at Prestonwood. He continued to do that with kids in Clinton, MS after he left Dallas. He made boys in his school choirs hug him before they left class each day, boys only. To some of his favorites he would write letters and give gifts. He had their pictures framed on his desk. These behaviors are classic grooming tactics of a serial child sexual predator.

The forced hugs should have been a huge red flag of inappropriate behavior. The school officials, including Clinton schools superintendent Phil Burchfield should be questioned about why they allowed this predator to continue unquestioned to prey on kids in their midst.

Comment on New BBC Open Forum from August 11, 2011 about Langworthy:










i ought to know said...
At first I couldn't remember if this happened BEFORE or AFTER the pastor (Billy Weber) was caught in an affair with one of the angels from the Christmas pageant! Jack Graham inherited a big old mess--he knew what he was getting into-- and did nothing but help sweep things under the rug to protect the mega-church's image. Being that I am a former P'wood youth group member at the time JL was on staff and committing such horrific acts, I feel compelled to comment. The youth pastor at the time (Neal Jeffrey) and all of senior staff should be held accountable as well since they assisted in the cover-up. I DO remember the reading of John O's resignation letter to the youth group, citing "personal improprieties" rather than calling it what it is: sex abuse with multiple, innocent victims. The parents of the victims were pressured by church staff (and volunteer youth workers) to not talk about what happened, and that spilled over into silencing the victims. Disturbing, sad, and all around pathetic way to handle the situation. You will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER convince me that he did not re-offend once he escaped penalty in Texas.
and on August 16, 2011:









iought2know said...
The first of many has come forward--such a hard thing to do, but will pave the way for others.

To those from PWood or anywhere else who think coming forward now is pointless due to statute of limitations running out...PLEASE do so anyway!! Did any inappropriate contact happen while out of the state on choir tour or at camp...while visiting JL in Mississippi...or threats/intimidation made? 


PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not be afraid to tell the police what was done to you!
CBSDFW: Former Prestonwood minister's attorney wants sex abuse case dropped

Associated Baptist Press (story with my comments)

Aaron Fisher, victim No. 1 in the Jerry Sandusky case, sits down with the Daily News to tell his story of sexual abuse from The Monster


Cranberry Salad


My dear friend Lori sent me this recipe 7 years ago, and it has become one of our family's favorites during the holidays. My kids love it.

Cranberry Salad

2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce

1 large tart apple, peeled and cut into tidbit size (I use Granny Smith)
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup cold orange juice
1 large box strawberry jello

Mix together the cranberries, apple pieces, pineapple, and pecans.

In a separate bowl, add jello to boiling water and stir. Add orange juice, stir.

Mix both together in your serving bowl and refrigerate until jellied. I usually make this the night before serving to be sure it's chilled.

Merry Christmas!



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Aaron the Hero: Silent No More


Part 1: Meet the teen who took on Sandusky, helping convict him of sexual abuse




Part 2: Lonely fight for justice




"But his mother does believe him, and she says she makes it clear to the prinicpal she's not going home, she's going to war."

Silent No More: Victim #1's Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky will be released on October 23, 2012.


The Second Rage of Jerry Sandusky's Victim #1



Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is my story

UPDATE: I had to get someone to listen and Prestonwood Baptist Church and the Cone of Silence

This is my story of how I came to be an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse and the personal price I would pay as a result. But I would do it again.

I loved my church, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. I spent my years in high school as a dedicated member of the youth ministry, and while attending Baylor University, I spent my summers as an intern on the youth staff at Prestonwood. It was there I met my then youth music minister, John Langworthy. John soon became a close friend of our family, even living in our home for a while in the mid 1980s while on staff at Prestonwood and attending seminary. I was in his wedding in Mississippi. He was a friend and mentor.

The person that I knew though was not reality. The reality was a wolf masquerading in sheep's clothing, albeit a very talented, charming, magnetic, charismatic one. The entire time I knew him, he was sexually molesting boys at Prestonwood, some of them my friends. Some of the abuse took place in the church building, the former Prestonwood location on Hillcrest at Arapaho in Dallas. This came as a shock to all of us when he was suddenly fired in June of 1989 and packed up quickly and moved back to his home state of Mississippi. I heard the rumors like many in the youth group then. I was 20 and on staff as an intern. I did not know exactly who the victims were at the time. The Prestonwood executive staff, headed by Dr. Jack Graham, heard Langworthy confess to these child sex crimes, along with Neal Jeffrey, then youth pastor, but no one reported these crimes to the police as required by Texas state law. They even had a few of the victims that they knew sit down with church attorneys to give statements, but none of this information was reported to the police.

The church congregation was not informed of the reason for Langworthy's departure. Parents were not notified so that other victims could be found. From my understanding, having talked to victims since then, a call came in to Prestonwood in 1989 warning them of John's past in Mississippi, of alleged child sexual abuse there.

In August of 2010, after hearing about the conviction of Pete Newman, former Kanakuk Christian camp director, I decided speak out and not leave it up to someone else to warn about Langworthy. I was someone else. I had to get someone to listen, anyone who could shine the light of truth on this admitted child molester. I began to search online for Langworthy and found him working at a church and public high school in Clinton, MS. Here is the timeline of my efforts to warn about Langworthy.

After my interview on WFAA in Dallas, the story began airing in Jackson, MS. One brave survivor of abuse as a child by John Langworthy came forward to the police in Clinton, MS, and then several more after that. John was arrested and indicted in September 2011 on 8 counts of felony gratification of lust for 5 victims, boys between the ages of 6-13. This abuse took place between 1980-84 while Langworthy was serving at First Baptist Church of Jackson and Daniel Memorial Baptist Church in Mississippi. He is awaiting a criminal trial on these charges set for Nov. 26, 2012 in Hinds County in Jackson, Mississippi. 

When I first began to question and seek out information to warn about Langworthy, I informed my parents about what I was doing, and that I was concerned that more kids were at risk. They expressed disapproval. I knew I was doing the right thing though. I called the Dallas police myself to report what I knew. I was told that the victims I knew, now adults, would have to report the abuse, or the Prestonwood staff who fired Langworthy. I communicated this information with Dr. Jack Graham, via Mike Buster, executive pastor. To my knowledge, they have yet to report the child sex crimes that took place at Prestonwood by Langworthy from 1984-1989 that constituted the reason for his dismissal. I have also heard from and and about victims of two other former Prestonwood youth ministers and one adult youth ministry volunteer that the staff knew about but have not reported to the police. Looking back, it seems that a culture of abuse reigned there unchecked.

Recently, my parents stated in writing that they are going on with their lives without me and want no more contact with me. In their own words, they insist that I went on a "witch hunt." They still stand by and defend John Langworthy saying "he didn't molest anybody," though he has confessed publicly from the pulpit at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in August 2011. They have also demanded that I apologize to Jack Graham and Neal Jeffrey at Prestonwood. On a call with my husband in August 2011, my dad stated:
You and Amy are going to pay a big price for what's been done here. I'm tellin' ya. You don't go on a witch hunt from 22 years ago.



I will not apologize for the truth. It is the light of truth and knowledge that is our greatest tool to protect kids. 

We need more people like Alex Green, a student editor at Bryan College in Tennessee, who defied the school administration to report and publish a story on a professor's alleged child sex crimes:
Had one individual in the Penn State program stepped up and revealed the truth about the actions of Jerry Sandusky, there would have been no fallout 14 years later. Joe Paterno would have died a hero. Instead, he died a goat. Penn State could have been praised. Instead, they are broken. 
Bryan College is not Penn State because there are people here that will not attempt to save face by dusting over the arrest of Dr. David Morgan.
Printing this story will not cause a Penn State situation for Bryan. I believe it will prevent one. That’s why I’m dispensing it.
Well done, Alex Green.

Child sexual abuse ravages war on every aspect of the life of a child. Where are the warriors to fight for these children? It's past time to stop protecting and enabling the predators who prey on kids.

If you have been a victim of sexual abuse at Prestonwood Baptist Church by John Langworthy or others, or have information about these crimes, please call and make a report to the Dallas Police Child Exploitation Unit at 214-671-4211. Your call will be answered by a trained counselor with 20 years experience. If you need to leave a message, your call will be returned. 

If you have suffered Langworthy's child sex crimes in Mississippi or have information about these crimes, please contact Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride at
 601-968-6568.

Silence only benefits the predators. Coming forward shatters the silence of sexual abuse, helps survivors heal and protects others. 

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do." ~ Dwight L. Moody

Friday, August 31, 2012

Turn the light on sexual abuse

Pastor: Turn the light on sexual abuse by Bob Allen, managing editor of the Associated Baptist Press:
A Texas Baptist congregation heard straight talk from its pastor in a recent sermon about how to respond to sexual abuse.
“There are so many people living in desperation and isolation, looking at the church being silent, and hearing that silence as even coming from God himself,” he said. “It’s time that they at least have an acknowledgment that what has happened to them has been soul-altering and life-changing.”

Morgan gave similar advice to any in the congregation guilty of abuse – find a professional and report it – as frightening as it may be. “I don’t know what will happen to me. I could go to prison. Anything could happen,” he said, anticipating their thoughts. “That’s true, but you lost control of your life when you decided to abuse, and you will never get control of it back.”

To bystanders, Morgan said, “To know something is going on like sexual abuse and to do nothing is to become an accomplice to the crime.”

Morgan said family members who know about, or suspect, abuse are tempted to “leave it alone” because of ramifications for their family. But if they do they “will be remembered for what you did not do” when the accusations eventually come to light.

“If you are the one to turn it on, there is at least hope for healing of you,” he said. “There is hope for the victim. Otherwise, there is only going to be darkness.”

Update on John Langworthy's criminal trial in Mississippi- new date is November 26, 2012:

We are grateful to law enforcement authorities who pursued the claims against Langworthy, resulting in a grand jury indictment. However, now is not the time to become complacent. The process of trial postponement can be a difficult time for victims. No court procedure is guaranteed a given outcome, so it is critical, now more than ever, that anyone with information about Langworthy’s child sex crimes come forward and report what they know to law enforcement.  

The public message from Morrison Heights Baptist Church has been one of support for Langworthy, as from the pulpit last year, Langworthy was allowed to confess his actions and receive a public show of support. Since his arrest and indictment, no plea of support for the victims has been made by this church. We would hope they would consider publicly reaching out to the victims to offer support and encouragement for anyone else who may have been harmed to report the abuse to the police. We would gladly offer a representative of SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, to come in person and assist them in this outreach.


We hope other victims who may be suffering in silence will come forward, call police, tell their story, get help and start healing. Given the nature of the charges in both Clinton and Jackson, as well as his confessed actions in Texas when he was on staff as the youth music minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church, we are sure that there are others who may have seen, suspected or suffered 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 have already broken their silence to ensure that justice is served. But Langworthy has pleaded not guilty, and is a long way from jail, and if history and research has taught us anything about child predators, it is that kids are still at risk, because predators do not stop. They actually become more skilled over time in grooming kids to become victims and keeping them silent. 

The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

More than a survivor of child sexual abuse, an overcomer and Olympic champion




“Don’t wait,” Clohessy said. Police might tell a victim they’ve had many complaints about a particular molester.
It’s very rare that a molester has only one victim, Carpenter said. The average serial pedophile might have abused 80 to 100 children.
Adults who were molested when they were children should put aside any misgivings about reporting their abuse because they don’t recall exact dates or don’t have a lot of information to give prosecutors, Clohessy said.
“Prosecutors understand that victims are suffering, nervous and fearful of being disbelieved,” Clohessy said in a phone interview from his office in St. Louis. “So, they’re not put off by a victim saying ‘I don’t remember what year it was.’ ”
Sexual-abuse investigators are trained in interviewing people who have survived that abuse, Hamilton said. “If the survivor has documentation regarding dates or locations, that can be helpful, but this is not necessary,” she said.
Be silent no more. Don't wait. Call the police. Report the abuse. Get help. Start healing. Protect others.

National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453): crisis counselors available 24/7

Friday, July 20, 2012

1-800-4-A-CHILD


1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

First it was simply, “Oh my God. That is horrifying.”
Then it became “Oh My God. All those boys.”
Then it became, “Oh my God – why didn’t he do something.”
Didn’t you feel all the whispers?
Did you not smell the fear?

The news and the names, and the timeline were fuzzy and unclear.
Then it became crystal clear.
Years. 14.
So. Many. Broken. Boys.
A crazy side bar – a missing DA, and a drowned laptop destroyed and car found. Parked and empty.

Dottie.
Really?

Then the Board of Trustees got clued in, went monkey crazy and fired a Pope.

Some, a small percentage, took to the streets and turned Beaver Canyon into chaos.
The cameras branded the students as calloused and capable of only worshipping football and tailgates. The students branded the swarms of cameras and microphones on campus and in their face 24/7 for days on end as calloused — capable only of worshipping ratings.

There was a Powerful Man with a (reportedly) abused childhood himself but somehow he could sit that still.

But you and I knew.

It was a Superhero with a dark horrible secret.
Power preying on those without.
Incubated and nurtured
By a culture of blind reverence.

And we’ve read that story somewhere before.

They tried to keep it quiet.
Instead, they brought down the house.

Jack Nicholson was right.
But now we must try to handle the truth.

Teach our children?
They already know when something is not right.
And sometimes, they even know what to do about it.
Teach us, the adults, and those with the power to stand up when we suspect.
Know the signs.
Listen.
Report.
Not sure?
Report.
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

~ksoneill via Child Help
Good and decent men don't do what Paterno did. Good and decent men protect kids, not rapists.

Friday, July 6, 2012

There's a Jerry Sandusky in every town

Vigilance is imperative: There's a Jerry Sandusky in every town | The Seattle Times
Adults who see children as sexual objects look like the friendly neighbor, coach, teacher or youth worker who takes an extra interest in a child. Our collective failure to recognize the patterns of grooming beneath the engaging demeanor of the abuser continues to leave vulnerable children at risk — not just those unlucky children way over in Happy Valley, Pa., but each and every child in our own community.

Jerry Sandusky guilty: Justice for victims and an end to silence by Jerome Elam in The Washington Times
For survivors of child abuse this was an act of courage unparalleled by any other event in our lives.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Michael Reagan shares his story as he relates his experience as a child abuse victim to the Jerry Sandusky case

Michael Reagan mentioned the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) during his interview last night on Piers Morgan Tonight. The hotline has been flooded with calls ever since from people needing help. Here is the video of that interview of him sharing his story of abuse as a child and his strong warning about child predators:

 It takes everything away from you when an adult does this to you as a child.
Too many wives are protecting too many husbands in the world we live in today. 
[Predators] don't get better as they get older. 
 My abuser taught me how to throw a football, taught me how to throw a baseball, taught me how to do trampoline, taught me how to yo-yo, taught me how to do those things where I could impress my father, make me feel good about myself.
 So he endeared himself to me, and then from that point, it just went to the 'nth' degree.





Read: Sandusky trial nightmares | how to keep your kids safe from the abuse I experienced 



It doesn't matter if you were abused 20 minutes ago or 20 years ago, stop that molester now. Don't let him hurt other kids...If the molester is a pastor or youth worker, don't call the church; if a teacher or coach, don't call school officials. Always call the police. - Michael Reagan




A Victim, Survivor, and a Man of Courage



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Secret History of Sexual Abuse: Great is the truth, and it prevails


"Prep-School Predators: The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse" appears on the front page of the New York Times magazine today. It is a detailed, moving, important, well-written account by Amos Kamil of alleged widespread child abuse at the elite private school in New York City. It is well worth the time to read it in full. A few notable excerpts:
-When the Penn State scandal came out last year, I kept getting tangled in the questions everyone else was getting tangled in: How does an institutional culture arise to condone, or at least ignore, something that, individually, every member knows is wrong? Andrew’s story came back to me in a rush. The questions of Penn State, I realized, are the questions of Horace Mann and perhaps every place that has been haunted by a similar history.
-But several faculty members of that era said that, to their knowledge, the school said nothing — not to the students, not to their families and not to the police.
 -E. B. agreed to tell me his story (though he asked that I identify him only by his initials) at an Italian restaurant outside Lincoln Center. As he spoke, he seemed both nervous and eager, his eyes darting around the room. “He was a hero to me,” he said. “But he was also a monster.”
 -E. B., too, is still struggling to make sense of what happened to him. He started a blog called “Johannes Somary, Pedophile,” which he hoped would become a gathering place for fellow victims.
 -Victims rarely speak out, said Paul Mones, a lawyer who represents people who have been sexually abused by authority figures. “The whole goal of the grooming process is to wrap the child close,” he told me. “The affection and trust is to make the kid complicit in the act. Make them feel like it was their fault, so it won’t even occur to them to talk.”
 -But in too many other cases, we got models of how to abuse authority, how to manipulate trust, how to keep silent, how to fix your eyes forward.
 -“Great is the truth, and it prevails.”

This story resonates with me as an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse and as a whistle blower to the child sexual abuse that has occurred at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas by my former youth music minister John Langworthy who is awaiting a criminal trial in Mississippi for felony child sexual abuse there. I have also heard from and about victims of 2 other former Prestonwood ministers and one adult volunteer. To my knowledge, none of these incidents of child sexual abuse has been reported by Prestonwood to law enforcement as required by law, though they have heard directly from victims.

Like at Horace Mann, the leadership of Prestonwood, headed by Dr. Jack Graham, has never said anything- not to the congregation, not to parents of kids in the church, not to the police, not to subsequent unsuspecting churches and communities of these credibly accused ministers, thus endangering more kids and enabling these predators. Silence.

This awful behavior of child sexual abuse at Prestonwood and covering it up by failing to report it has been shrouded in secrecy for too many years. Their negligence is outrageous. Their breaking the law of mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse, not one but several times, is inexcusable. There has been no apology or trace of caring about the kids whose lives have been so terribly damaged. Protecting the institution has taken priority over protecting children. Hopefully, anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse there or *elsewhere will come forward, go to the police, get help, start healing and protect others. Silence only helps the predators who need secrecy to harm kids.

Mississippi state representative from Clinton, attorney Philip Gunn, now the House speaker, is an elder at Morrison Heights Baptist Church and a friend of John Langworthy. In meetings with Langworthy last year prior to his resignation from Morrison Heights, Gunn, pastor Greg Belser and the other elders heard Langworthy confess to the past sexual abuse of boys. They did not go to the police with this information. These crimes had never been reported to the police. Belser, Gunn and the elders conducted their own investigation. He attempted to "discuss a resolution" with me. I said, "No." The story is here on WJTV.



A Troubled Silence
The stories of abuse at Horace Mann and elsewhere are truly horrifying. But the victims will have done a great service if their actions persuade others to come forward...

Missed stories: About that Horace Mann School article in the Times


Jerry Sandusky: Innocence on Trial by Jerome Elam in The Washington Times


"Pedophile Speak" by Kid Safe Foundation

*There is a former Second Baptist Church Houston music minister, Eddie Struble, that has also been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. I posted this information here with the police report from the Houston area that contains concerns of his stalking a minor that he met and befriended while on staff at Second Baptist.

The light of knowledge and truth is our greatest tool to protect kids.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Church musician accused of sexually assaulting teen inside Fort Bend County church

KPRC
Investigators said Grimsley contacted the teen through Facebook, where he posted pictures of himself playing the guitar. Brady said Grimsely also sent the girl text messages. He tried to get the girl to meet with him again and asked her to send him pictures of certain body parts, investigators said. The teen's family found the messages and called detectives, officials said.
Grimsley is accused of assaulting the teen at Zion Watchtower Baptist Church in Richmond, Texas.

Thankfully this child's family members were observant and found the messages from this abuser to her and contacted law enforcement immediately, rather than report it to church authorities. Kids are always safer when child sex crimes are reported to law enforcement as soon as these crimes are discovered so that abusers are exposed and investigated by professionals.

Hopefully anyone who saw, suffered or suspected child sex crimes or has knowledge of such by Mr. Grimsley will contact law enforcement immediately. Call 911 or the TX abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

A case in Florida should be a wake-up call for all Baptist churches: 





The light of knowledge and truth is our most important tool to protect kids.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Culture of secrecy

Evidence in clergy abuse trial shows a culture of secrecy
Together, the evidence pointed to a long-standing culture in the hierarchy - and at times the ranks below - that chose secrecy over transparency and the welfare of the institution over victims.

"It was all about the good of Mother Church," Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said in arguments to the judge Thursday. "They cared about money, they cared about the business of the church, not the flock and not the parishioners."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Former Kentucky player Michael Porter charged with sex abuse

USA Today
Porter, who is married and still living in Lexington, turned 25 last week. The citation says he met the minor when he was "a group leader at a church function." Porter's bail was set at $22,000 and he was scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Thankfully this brave victim came forward and reported these crimes. It takes great courage for victims of child sexual abuse to come forward and report a perpetrator, especially when that perpetrator is a respected member of the community and befriended the child at church. But it's important that every single person who sees, suspects or suffers child sex crimes speaks up. That's the best way to protect kids, expose wrongdoing, and start healing.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/05/15/2188200/former-uk-player-michael-porter.html#comment-529636117#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Heritage of Covering Up Child Abuse

                                   



These survivors of abuse are to be commended for their courage and bravery for speaking out. Just as in all cases of abuse, a molester/abuser does not harm every single child he or she comes in contact with. So naturally there will be members of the Homestead community who will always have favorable memories of their life there who were not harmed. While abuse may not have happened for one, this does not mean that abuse could not have happened or be happening currently to others.

Alex Hannaford at The Texas Observer and Brett Shipp at WFAA are doing important work of shining the light of truth and exposing abuse, which will hopefully protect other kids, and help those abused heal. The same cannot be said of mega-church pastors like Jack Graham who have failed to report child sexual abuse by former Prestonwood ministers, John Langworthy being one of them, whom Brett Shipp helped expose.

Thanks to the story Brett Shipp did, airing my interview and the statements from victims, several more victims in MS came forward. Langworthy's criminal trial is set for July 30, 2012 for 8 counts/5 victims of felony gratification of lust, boys between the ages of 8-12.

This horrible story of secrecy and abuse at Homestead tragically mirrors the dangerous and disturbing pattern of other churches, large and small, that handle reports of abuse internally and don't obey the law of mandated reporting to law enforcement of any knowledge or suspicion of abuse of kids. This pattern endangers kids and enables predators.

If you have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or abuse at Homestead Heritage or elsewhere, please come forward, *report these crimes to law enforcement, get help, start healing, and protect others. Keeping silent only hurts.

Reporting child abuse in TX:

*Call 911
*Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 1-800 252-5400

National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors, for kids, adult and professionals.

In addition to the above numbers, in the Waco area, you can call or go to the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children, serving the central Texas community:


Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children
2323 Columbus Avenue Waco, TX 76701
Crisis Hotline (254) 752-7233 or toll free (888) 867-7233
(254) 752-9330 office

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
(312) 455-1499
Toll-Free Phone: 1-877-SNAPHEALS (1-877-762-7432)


ESPN- New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey sits down with Jeremy Schaap to discuss the sexual abuse Dickey endured as a child.






Friday, April 27, 2012

The 'Monsters' Among Us: Child Sex Abusers in Our Midst

The 'Monsters' Among Us: Child Sex Abusers in Our Midst | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

These events brought a sickening dose of reality to our hallways. While the stories don't signal a trend, they do mean that all faith-based institutions can no longer afford to assume that predators are somewhere "out there," over the clean Christian rain-bow. They are not just in college locker rooms and Catholic rectories either. They are on our evangelical faculty and work in our community nonprofits, and we must respond to them in a way that bears the judgment—and mercy—of the gospel

Friday, April 13, 2012

John Langworthy criminal trial in Mississippi

*UPDATE* Langworthy pleads guilty  

If you were a victim of Langworthy’s child sex crimes in Dallas, please call Doreen in the Dallas police department at 214-671-4211. The Dallas police department wants to hear from you and she’ll be expecting your call. Doreen is the report intake specialist for the child abuse/exploitation unit and is a trained counselor.

If you were or are a victim of Langworthy's child sex crimes in Mississippi, please call Josh Frazier in the Clinton Police Department at 601-925-6106 or the main number and ask for Josh at 601-924-5252.

December 18, 2012- UPDATE: Judge rules Langworthy will face trial


See here for the latest update as of Nov. 26, 2012.

The criminal trial of confessed child molesting minister John Langworthy, originally set for April 2, has been scheduled for *July 30 in Hinds County in Jackson, Mississippi. He is charged with 8 felony counts of gratification of lust for 5 victims, boys between the ages of 8-12. This abuse took place in Clinton and Jackson, MS between 1980-84 while he served at 2 area Baptist churches, First Baptist Jackson and Daniel Memorial Baptist Church, while he was attending Mississippi College. 

Langworthy confessed these crimes of child sexual abuse from the pulpit of Morrison Heights Baptist Church on August 7, 2011. He was arrested and indicted in September. In addition to the child sex crimes for which he is indicted, Langworthy also confessed to molesting minor boys at his previous employer, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, where he was the youth music minister from 1984-89.

Though the Prestonwood church staff, including then and current head pastor, Dr. Jack Graham, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as Neal Jeffrey, then youth pastor, and some adult volunteers, heard directly from victims and heard Langworthy confess to this molestation in the summer of 1989, they did not report these crimes to the police as required by state law.

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.

They had a few of the victims sit down with church attorneys to give statements about the abuse. These statements were not reported to law enforcement so that an investigation could take place and more victims identified and helped, and other kids protected. The church congregation has never been informed by the church staff of this confessed child molester that was in their midst, preying upon their children. Parents and their kids that were in the youth ministry while Langworthy was at Prestonwood have never been told the truth by Dr. Graham. (See the Associated Baptist Press story "Abuse confession raises question of cover-up by Baptist mega-church")

Langworthy was fired by Prestonwood and allowed to move back to an unsuspecting community in his home state of Mississippi where he promptly began working with kids teaching music in Clinton public schools, first an elementary school, then junior high and high school. He also became the music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton where he worked until his resignation at the end of May 2011 a few months prior to his public confession there.

you should know about child sexual offenders: theresurgence.com 




It is critical that anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered sex crimes by John Langworthy come forward, contact law enforcement, get help, start healing, seek justice immediately, and protect others, no matter how long ago or how recent the abuse occurred. Keep in mind that your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others. You can call 911 to report and you will be directed to the appropriate authorities. 


If you were abused by Langworthy in Dallas, or have information about these crimes, please call the Dallas Police Department Child Exploitation Unit at 214-671-4211. This line is answered by a trained counselor who will take your report.


Texas Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-5400


Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453), then push 1 to talk to a hotline counselor. 


If you were abused by Langworthy in Mississippi and/or have information about his child sex crimes there, please call 911, the local police where the abuse occurred, or contact Jamie McBride, the assistant Hinds County District Attorney at 601-968-6568. He is handling the criminal case of Langworthy there. To report abuse in Clinton, you can call Josh Frazier in the Clinton Police Department at 601-924-5252. 

MS abuse hotline 1-800-222-8000 (www.msabusehotline.mdhs.ms.gov), or MS crimestoppers 1-888-8-CRIMES (1-888-827-4637), 601-355-TIPS (8447) to submit an anonymous tip by phone, email cstoppers@mdps.state.ms.us.

If I can be of any assistance, please contact me at spacecitysnap@gmail.com. I am the Houston leader for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Two educators in Cobb County, Georgia arrested and fired for failure to report suspected child sex abuse.



And today, we have a message for anyone who sees, suspects or suffers child abuse – sexual or physical. Healing, justice and prevention are possible. But you must step forward. You need not reveal your identity or sacrifice your privacy. But you must act. Staying silent helps only the predators.






*Updated: Trial date is set for Nov. 26

SNAP statement on Langworthy's indictment (read the full statement here):
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.

Judge to rule on minister's sex abuse charges

My interview on WJTV: Former minister wants child sex case thrown outhttp://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2012/11/enabling-serial-child-sexual-predator.html

Monday, April 2, 2012

The coach and the cardinal: the seduction of the leader

April is child abuse prevention month and sexual assault awareness month. Here is a list of activities across the state of Texas to spread awareness.  Child Help, founded in 1959 by Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, is a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. Childhelp's approach focuses on prevention, intervention and treatment. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD®, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives calls from throughout the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.


Rod Napier, chairman of the Napier Group and a founder of the University of Pennsylvania's graduate program in organizational consulting and executive coaching, addresses the organizational breakdown of demanding and confronting the truth.

Two iconic Pennsylvania figures, Joe Paterno and Anthony Bevilacqua, passed away this year. Both the longtime Penn State football coach and the former archbishop of Philadelphia had remarkable careers of public service and achievement that ended in scandal - scandals that will forever shadow their legacies. Both men saw themselves as close to God, but both were also treated as gods by those around them. And that may have had more to do with the scandals than has so far been appreciated.
...
 The cultures of their respective organizations - cultures they tolerated, if not outright fostered or even demanded - probably tended to discourage the people around them from plainly stating the most unpleasant truths at hand. The most likely scenario is that these men never heard the completely unvarnished truth, because they created or tolerated cultures that did not encourage people to tell them difficult truths.
...
 The fact is, the more influence and power we have, the less likely those around us are to tell us the truth. This dynamic is at the core of the concept of the seduction of the leader.
...
Truly great organizational leaders recognize this dynamic and work to counter it, actively seeking and creating an environment in which their subordinates feel free to speak plainly.
...
 The truth is that the seduction of the leader occurs thousands of times a day, when good and not-so-good men and women have opportunities to speak the truth but don't. These small omissions and half-truths can eventually give way to deceptions that are larger and more treacherous.
...
 Leaders must work overtly to create cultures in which the truth is systematically demanded, invited, and protected. It's not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do. Ask Penn State and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Last week, Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, tweeted:
You never have to hide from the truth. Live a transparent life which honors Jesus.
That sounds wonderful, but if leaders like Jack Graham and others charged with shepherding a congregation of church members who trust them, do not also live that way and demand and confront the terrible truth of child sexual predators in their midst, kids will be in danger. If the warning signs are not heeded and reported to law enforcement when predators groom kids to abuse them, like in the case of Eddie Struble, former minister at Second Baptist Church in Houston, kids will be in danger. If only Jack Graham and the staff who knew the truth about the confessed child molester, John Langworthy, had not hidden the truth, but reported these child sex crimes to the police in 1989 as required by law, informed the entire church of the truth of Langworthy's firing and reached out for anyone who had been harmed by Langworthy to go to the police, get help and start healing, other kids would not have been placed at risk for the past 23 years. They can and should still take this action today.


Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. - Mother Teresa


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

As many lies are told with silence as with words. - Rick Warren

A brave girl comes forward, law enforcement is notified and another child predator is arrested. Gary Welch, youth pastor at Northside Baptist Churchin Corsicana, TX was arrested and recently charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He is accused of having a three-year affair with a teenage member of the youth group.


The light of knowledge and truth is our most important tool to protect kids.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lawsuit against Methodist church in Houston: failing to stop abuse

I was interviewed for this story: News Radio 740 KTRH
A local woman accuses Methodist preacher Kendall Graham abused her for years and says church officials did nothing to stop it.  She's seeking $25 million in damages.
Referred to as Jane Doe in court documents, the victim claims Graham and his wife invited her move in with them when she was 10-years-old after her mother died, but by age 14 the pastor was sexually abusing her.
Graham and his wife eventually divorced, the victim gave birth to her own child then married her abuser.
 Defense attorneys say Jane Doe is bitter he filed for divorce from her.
David Clohessy is director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP.  He calls it a classic child predator case.
"If you are a child sexual predator, you'll do everything you can to gain more access to kids," says Clohessy.  "And what better way to gain access than to bring her into your home and raise her as your daughter."
The victim declined comment, but her attorney Harrison Fischer tells KTRH News that church officials knew about the abuse long ago and did nothing to stop it.
"It was reported by the members of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, this pastor had inappropriate contact with Jane Doe on a church trip to Jamaica," says Fischer.  "Nothing was done; it was not reported to Child Protective Services or law enforcement."
Space City SNAP's Amy Smith says the lack of response by church leaders happens time and time again.
"They want to rally around a loved minister, and have a very hard time believing that a man who has a facade of goodness and has done so much for people could be capable of that," says Smith.  "That response does keep victims silent."
Church officials say the local Bishop only learned of the abuse when meeting with Jane Doe last August.  The Bishop then fired Graham, forcing him to give up his credentials.