Friday, January 16, 2015

Anonymous Mailer Rants: Prestonwood Baptist Church and convicted child sex offender John Langworthy

It was brought to my attention last July that several contacts of mine had received anonymous mailings at their home or office. Author and speaker Mary DeMuth is among those who received this mailing. She wrote about it here.
In my work with sexual abuse victims, I am used to undergoing attack in subtle and not so subtle ways, but this one made me nervous. Whoever sent this knew my home address. What is strange is that I haven’t written about this case, or publicly commented on it here. I have been angry at institutions that have chosen to prefer the perpetrator over the predator and have written about that here. I also applaud Boz Tchividjian’s brave work in this area.
So yesterday, I received another letter. I kept it as evidence. (Anyone know if I have any recourse?)
The whole thing makes me angry, and this is why: Only cowards send anonymous letters in the mail. If this person feels so strongly about the rightness of the situation, why not dialog here? Why not address me in a public setting? To send “evidence” to my home address is underhanded and bordering on harassment.
If you wrote it, my request is this: show yourself and share your views in public. And by all means, STOP sending me anonymous diatribes.

Today I was made aware that the anonymous mailer has sent a 22 page rant to one of my contacts on the same subject: Prestonwood Baptist Church and convicted child sex offender John Langworthy. I was told that the mailing contains a list of other purported recipients. If someone has put this much time and effort into making their point, why remain anonymous? What does he have to hide?  What sort of a coward writes this kind of a letter and hides his identity?

I decided to post here the anonymous mailing from last summer. I redacted portions that contain information identifying one of Langworthy's victims from Prestonwood. This Prestonwood victim has told me that he came forward to tell Neal Jeffrey, then youth minister, about the abuse by Langworthy later in the summer of 1989, after Langworthy had been fired by Jack Graham because of allegations of child sexual abuse. Langworthy had already moved back to his home state of Mississippi when the victim discussed by the anonymous mailer came forward. This victim came forward to prosecutors in Mississippi and assisted in the conviction of Langworthy there in January 2013 for the felony sexual assault of 5 boys ages 6-13. He pleaded guilty and received a 50 year suspended sentence and is a registered sex offender. See the criminal court documents mentioning this victim from Prestonwood here. This victim's mother gave a statement to the media in January 2013 alleging a cover up by Prestonwood.



The narrative put forth by the anonymous mailer contradicts facts shared with me by my father, a former deacon at Prestonwood who was intimately involved in John Langworthy's dismissal.  A few years ago, after talking to Mike Buster at Prestonwood, my dad reconfirmed that the sexual activity started when the victim was 15, and continued until age 17. These allegations were not reported to police as required by the Texas mandatory child abuse reporting law. In addition, this anonymous letter writer claims there was only one victim, but my father emailed me about multiple boys at Prestonwood that came forward to accuse John Langworthy.  I personally know this victim detailed by the anonymous mailer, and he confirmed the same timeline my dad told me about. You can see my father's written details below.

Anonymous mailer seems to know this victim well as he writes about the victim's story. Anonymous mailer writes that he knows where this victim works now. Has anonymous mailer reached out to this victim? I know that he has not.

I have spoken with another two of Langworthy's victims from Prestonwood, one of whom personally told his story to Brett Shipp at WFAA (linked below). I was in the courtroom in Mississippi the day of the conviction, along with his victims from Mississippi, and one of his victims from Prestonwood. I listened to two of the Mississippi victims give victim impact statements. I will never forget that day.





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