Meridian Star

November 27, 2012

Judge to hear motion to dismiss sex abuse charges


Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. —  

Attorneys for John Langworthy, a former school teacher and church music director accused of molesting young boys several years ago in Mississippi and Texas, have asked for charges to be dismissed.

Hinds County Judge Bill Gowan will hear the motion on Dec. 18. Langworthy's trial is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Jeff Rimes, Langworthy's attorney, tells The Clarion-Ledger that the statute of limitations that would allow Hinds County to file the charges expired on Dec. 31, 1986. Langworthy was arrested in 2011.

Rimes said the statute of limitations potentially affecting Langworthy expired nearly three years before an amendment in 1989 extended it "for a period of seven years."

Today, there is no statute of limitations on sex crimes in Mississippi. But during the period in which Langworthy allegedly committed the abuse in Mississippi, there was.

Langworthy is the former minister of music at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss.

In August, 2011, he told the congregation that he had past sexual indiscretions with teenage boys in Mississippi and Texas. He worked as a music minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.

He told the Clinton congregation he moved to Mississippi because of the indiscretions at Prestonwood.

Prosecutors have said Langworthy was involved with youth choirs at First Baptist Church of Jackson and Daniel Memorial Baptist Church in Jackson during the early 1980s.

Langworthy resigned from his church position in May 2011. He did not return to the high school last fall as director of the choir.