Community Environment Police & Fire

Evergreen teacher charged with child molestation jailed briefly for violating parole

Posted on June 3rd, 2024 By:

Jordan Roy Henderson, the Evergreen Elementary teacher accused of child molestation, was back in jail briefly on Friday after a report he violated parole by holding gatherings at his home with minors present.

The court released Henderson following a hearing Friday and he returned to home detention on $750,000 bail as of Saturday morning.

On leave from school

The Peninsula School District placed Henderson on leave from his job in February after allegations that he inappropriately touched a female student. A Pierce County Sheriff’s Office investigation documented allegations of sexual abuse against at least three of his students over a two-year period, leading to his arrest on April 18.

Prosecutors charged Henderson in Pierce County Superior Court with nine counts of first-degree child molestation. He was released on $100,000 bail and confined to his home on electronic home monitoring. Conditions of his release stated he could not attend services at the Lakebay church, where he has been a deacon, or have contact with minors other than his biological children.

In mid-May, a neighbor told the Sheriff’s Office that Henderson hosted large gatherings at his Gig Harbor home on Sundays since mid-April. The gatherings reportedly included “numerous juveniles” who are not his children.

Neighbor’s allegations

In one instance, the neighbor reported observing Henderson outside cleaning his front yard. A 4- or 5-year-old girl (not his child) was walking toward the house, and Henderson reportedly said, “Oh my God, there she is in a cute little skirt.”

The court issued a warrant for his arrest and deputies took him back into custody on Friday. At a hearing on the same day, according to court records, prosecutors stated the $750,000 bond was appropriate given reports of gatherings at the defendant’s home with minors present and updated information that investigators had found pornography on Henderson’s devices.

Prosecutors did not request new charges. But they argued the bail increase was necessary, “as the defendant demonstrated he is a danger to the community and violating court orders.”

Moms cite ‘blatant disregard’

Mothers of two of the children identified as victims in the case spoke at the hearing. One said that Friday was her child’s 11th birthday and “instead of celebrating, she is here.” That mother said Henderson has shown a “blatant disregard” for court orders and asked the state to increase the bail. The other mother also urged the state to maintain the higher bail to ensure her child’s safety and that of other children.

Defense attorney Brett Purtzer argued for maintaining the $100,000 bail. Purtzer said nothing prevents church members from coming to Henderson’s home and that only the defendant’s children were present. He argued it is not clear who accessed the pornography, which is from 2017. Purtzer said “there is zero proof that defendant accessed,” according to court clerk notes.

Prosecutors stated the defendant’s email address was linked to the laptop where investigators found pornography. The investigation continues and deputies plan to search more devices, they said.

Judicial Assistant Thor Albarado, presiding court official, clarified that church gatherings may not take place at Henderson’s home. Purtzer argued that the state doesn’t have the right to restrict religion. Albarado said the defendant can still practice religion, just not have gatherings.

According to official notes from the hearing, “Court will not order monitoring of devices but prohibits (defendant’s) use of internet-accessible devices.”