Tacoma teacher, pastor accused of 9 counts of molestation faces families of victims

Editor's Note: Some information in this story includes graphic details.

Jordan Henderson, a 34-year-old elementary school teacher from Evergreen Elementary School who is accused of sexually assaulting children, faced a judge Friday.

Henderson is accused of nine counts of molestation; three of the children were his own students.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) initiated the investigation after receiving a report from a student on Feb. 26, alleging inappropriate conduct by a teacher at the school. Acting swiftly, detectives from the sheriff's office launched an inquiry into the matter.

During the ongoing investigation, the school district took immediate action, removing the accused teacher from his duties at Longbranch Elementary School.

On April 18, following the execution of a search warrant at Henderson's residence in Gig Harbor, the suspect was arrested on first-degree charges and booked into Pierce County Jail.

The allegations against Henderson have sent shockwaves through the community, particularly among the families of the victims.

In a highly emotional court hearing Friday, parents shared the profound impact of the alleged assaults on their children, with one girl pleading with the judge to ensure her alleged attacker remains behind bars.

"We can't drive past the school building without her hiding her eyes," one parent said.

According to probable cause documents obtained by FOX 13 News, Henderson is accused of preying on fourth and fifth graders for years, using his position as an educator to gain the trust of his victims and convince them that the assaults were normal.

He's accused of rubbing children's backs, things, behinds and genitals. Court documents say the "brave little girls called Henderson out for the assaults."

Henderson took advantage of his role as an educator, lying to the children and saying "touching was normal." He also told the kids "not to tell anyone."

The victims reported that sexual assaults would happen daily and even interfere with class. One girl stated if she spoke up, Henderson would punish her.

"I ask you, your honor, to consider her piece of mind when considering this evil, evil person," one family member said.

The courtroom on Friday was filled with members of Wellspring Fellowship Church, where Henderson holds a leadership role alongside his father. The church released a statement expressing support for Henderson, further adding to the complexity of the case.

Despite requests from Henderson's attorney for release without bail, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Barbara McCinvale set a $100,000 bond and imposed strict conditions, including prohibiting Henderson from being around children other than his own.

The Peninsula School District, where Henderson was employed, has remained silent on the matter, offering no comment on his current employment status.

As the investigation unfolds and the legal proceedings progress, the community grapples with the unsettling allegations against a once-trusted member of their community.


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