WA teacher charged with child molestation back in jail after alleged bail violation

A fifth-grade teacher in the Peninsula School District charged with molesting his female students is back in Pierce County Jail for allegedly violating the condition of his pretrial release.

Jordan Roy Henderson, 34, is facing nine counts of first-degree child molestation and is alleged to have molested three of his students numerous time while they were in his fourth- and fifth-grade classes, records show.

A plea of not guilty was entered on Henderson’s behalf on April 19 in Pierce County Superior Court. His bail was set at $100,000, and he was released the same day on a electronic home-monitoring device after posting a bond, court records show.

Henderson was ordered not to have contact with minors, except for his biological children. He was also not allowed to attend church. Henderson is a deacon at Wellspring Fellowship Church in Key Peninsula where his father, Chris Henderson, is the pastor, a previous News Tribune story reported.

Prosecutors allege that Henderson broke the pretrial services order when he allegedly hosted religious services at his Gig Harbor home where juveniles were present, documents show.

A neighbor reported to police that since Henderson cannot go preach at his church, he is hosting services at his home. The neighbor has seen a large number of cars parked at his house and on the streets every Sunday. She alleged that numerous juveniles that were not his own children entered and exited the home.

At one point on May 10, the neighbor saw Henderson cleaning his front yard when a young girl about 4 to 5 years old approached him. Henderson allegedly said, “Oh my god, there she is in a cute little skirt.” The neighbor said the girl was not Henderson’s child.

Henderson’s hearing details

Henderson was taken into custody Thursday on the alleged bail violations.

At a Friday afternoon hearing in Pierce County Superior Court, prosecutors Lindsay Chenelia and Christine Dickson requested that Court Commissioner Barbara McInvaille increase his bail to $750,000 for the alleged violations.

Henderson’s attorney, Brett Purtzer, denied that his client violated the pretrial services agreement and urged the court not to raise his bail.

Purtzer said in court Friday there were not any children at the religious services at Henderson’s home. The prosecution argued that the neighbor confirmed the children going to the services were not Henderson’s children because she knows what they look like.

Purtzer and the prosecution went back and forth about the neighbor witnessing Henderson speak to a child.

Purtzer said that Henderson’s home has Ring camera video footage that shows the neighbor walking her dog and a child approaching his client. He said that the little girl was Henderson’s daughter.

Chenelia argued that it was possible the neighbor was referencing some time earlier or later that day. She also added that the neighbor was not specific on what time it happened.

Purtzer also told the court there is an ongoing investigation into whether Henderson has accessed child pornography.

Detectives allegedly recovered child pornography that was accessed in 2017 on Henderson’s computer. There was also allegedly an extensive search history for child pornography. Purtzer said there is no indication that Henderson was the one to access the pornography. Chenelia argued that the laptop the pornography searches came from was logged in with Henderson’s Google account.

McInvaille increased bail to $750,000 and said that the developments of the case concerned her greatly, including the alleged child pornography.

“I am most concerned about what was discovered because even the possession of those kinds of materials is against the law,” she said.

McInvaille ruled that if Henderson posts bail he is not allowed to have religious services inside his home. Purtzer argued that the court was denying Henderson’s right to practice his religion. McInvaille said she is not denying his right, and that he is free to practice his religion but just cannot have services inside his home.

Henderson’s father posted on the church’s Facebook on April 18 that the church supported him. It was the last public post the church has made.

“While some would have you focus on alarm bells and your greatest fears about what you do not know, I want to encourage you with confidence about what I do know,” the Facebook post read. “I know Jordan to be of the highest quality and character as a man. He is a great husband, a great father, a great teacher.”

The church and his family supported to Henderson at his arraignment. Parishioners, Henderson’s parents, his in-laws and wife filled the first three rows of the courtroom gallery. Henderson’s family members were also present during Friday’s hearing.

Henderson was arrested April 18 following a two-month investigation into the allegations. He is on administrative leave, according to the Peninsula School District.

One of the alleged victims spoke at his arraignment, saying that she has nightmares and trauma.

“It’s horrible. Like, I can’t sleep without crying. I fall asleep crying, and I can’t look at a school building without getting triggered,” the child said while in tears. “I’m scared he’s gonna come back.”