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Tag: Sexual Molestation

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Worship Pastor Jordan Henderson Accused of Sexually Molesting School Girls

jordan henderson

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

“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 based on what I do know. I know Jordan to be of the highest character and quality as a man. He is a great husband, a great father, a great teacher. He and his family have the full confidence and support of our church. Please join us in asking that God reveal the full and complete truth regarding these allegations.” (In other words, trust me, my son didn’t do it.)

— Chris Henderson, pastor, and Jordan’s father

Jordan Henderson, a worship pastor at Wellspring Fellowship in Lakebay, Washington, and a fifth-grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary School, stands accused of sexually molesting and groping several school girls.

Gig Harbor Now reports:

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested an Evergreen Elementary School teacher on suspicion of first-degree child molestation on April 18, according to a statement from the Peninsula School District.

The teacher is in custody at the Pierce County Jail, the school district said. The district previously placed the teacher on administrative leave after learning about allegations of misconduct.

Attorneys representing a victim identified the teacher as Jordan Henderson. The online Pierce County jail roster lists a person by that name held on suspicion of eight counts of first-degree child molestation.

A public database of K-12 employees maintained by the state of Washington shows a Jordan Henderson employed as a teacher in Peninsula School District since at least 2018-19.

“Based on our initial investigations, we believe that Henderson likely abused many other young women over the years,” attorney Kevin Hastings said in a news release. Hastings, an attorney with Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, is representing the survivor of Henderson and her mother. “We anticipate more victims to come forward once news of Henderson’s arrest becomes widespread.”

The law firm’s statement said the victim reported being sexually abused by Henderson while she was his student during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

A statement from the sheriff’s office said it launched its investigation on Feb. 26, after an Evergreen student reported allegations of “molestation or groping” by a teacher. Detectives served a search warrant on the teacher’s Gig Harbor home and arrested him Thursday, April 18.

Fox-13 reports:

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.

Jordan Henderson’s church bio states:

My name is Jordan Henderson and I have been the worship pastor here at Wellspring Fellowship since 2011.  I moved to the area with my parents (Chris and Susan) in 2000.  Music has always been a big part of my life.  My parents looked at playing the piano as a subject in school so when I was six I started piano lessons and continued them through college.  I also played in wind ensembles throughout my schooling (playing the baritone) and sang lead tenor in an opera at Olympic College.  I started playing piano for worship in church when I was 13.  In High school I learned the guitar and started playing for church.  When I finished high school I went to Olympic college to focus on music and elementary education.  From there I attended Northwest University earning my BA in Elementary Education.  While at Northwest I met my wife and we were married in August of 2013.  We currently live in Gig Harbor where I teach 5th grade at Evergreen Elementary.  

In June 2024, Henderson was charged with three more crimes.

KOMO reports:

A Pierce County elementary school teacher and volunteer worship pastor accused of child molestation is charged with additional counts after a new victim came forward.

Jordan Henderson, 34, who is already facing nine counts of first-degree child molestation has had three additional counts added. A new victim has come forward accusing Henderson.

The teacher was arrested in April after allegations of misconduct involving young students. Henderson was arrested by Pierce County Sheriff’s Department deputies at his home in Gig Harbor.

The allegations came after a student reported assaults to her parents in February. According to the PCSD, the allegations concerned molestation or groping of young students at school and during school hours.

Police said five Evergreen Elementary School students, all girls, came forward and told officials of the assaults that took place during school hours.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jose Lozano Accused of Sexually Molesting Foster Children

pastor jose lozano

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jose Lozano, pastor of Zion Assembly Church of God in Hesperia, California, stands accused of sexually molesting his foster children. Zion Assembly — Hesperia is affiliated with Zion Assembly Church of God International, headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee. Zion Assembly rents its meeting space from Sovereign Way Christian Church.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

A Hesperia pastor is in police custody following an investigation into allegations he sexually abused two minors under his care as a foster parent.

Jose Manuel Lozano is awaiting trial at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto, where he is being held in lieu of $5-million bail. Investigators described his alleged victims as girls ages 16 and 10.

The 54-year-old Hesperia resident led bilingual services for a predominately Latino and Spanish-speaking congregation at Zion Assembly Church of God Hesperia, an affiliate of Zion Assembly Church of God International, headquartered in Tennessee. A representative from the latter said in an interview that the organization condemns Lozano’s “ungodliness” and that he was removed from office March 15, when the allegations came to light. He was arrested last week.

….

Zion Assembly Church of God Hesperia is holding services in Lozano’s absence with interim pastor Henry Rodriguez in his place. Rodriguez did not respond to The Times’ request for comment, and the church’s Instagram and Facebook pages have been taken down.

Since 2018, Lozano’s congregation had been renting space from Sovereign Way Christian Church, according to that church’s pastor, Stephen Feinstein. He said he knew Zion Assembly Church of God Hesperia as a good tenant that communicated well. The news “came as such a shock,” he said.

He said the Sovereign Way Christian Church campus has security cameras in nearly every room, but law enforcement hasn’t asked for any video.

“Sexual abuse is a problem in every institutional setting,” Feinstein said.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: United Church of Christ Pre-K Teacher Joshua Leduc Pleads Guilty to Sexually Molesting Children

joshua leduc

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Joshua LeDuc, a pre-K teacher at Bethel United Church of Christ’s “Bethel Buddies” preschool in Evansville, Indiana, recently pleaded guilty to sexually molesting children in his care.

In February 2024, the Courier & Post reported:

A former Evansville preschool teacher accused in August of molesting a student is behind bars again after prosecutors charged him with two additional child sexual abuse offenses.

Evansville police arrested 21-year-old Joshua Brandon Leduc on Wednesday evening on charges of child seduction, a Level 3 felony, and child molesting, a Level 3 felony. Leduc formerly taught pre-kindergarten classes at Bethel United Church of Christ.

Leduc was arrested and charged with two counts of child molestation in August after he was allegedly recorded by classroom surveillance cameras sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl, police said.

Leduc was out on bond in that case when he was arrested Wednesday, court records show.

Bethel United Church of Christ terminated Leduc’s employment Aug. 2 after it was made aware of the first allegation, lead pastor Samuel Buehrer told the Courier & Press.

According to EPD Detective Cameron Werne, a second student accused Leduc of molestation in February.

Writing in an affidavit of probable cause, Werne said the 6-year-old victim attended Bethel Buddies, the church’s preschool, from August 2021 to July 2022. During a forensic interview conducted at Holly’s House, a victims’ advocacy center in Evansville, the child reportedly said Leduc touched her inappropriately as she built a puzzle in his classroom.

According to the affidavit, the victim identified Leduc in a randomized photo lineup as the man who molested her.

….

The church informed the Vanderburgh County Department of Child Services in August that Leduc had been accused of molesting a student, according Buehrer. The EPD took up the investigation and spoke to the victim’s mother about the alleged abuse.

In a written affidavit, Werne said he reviewed surveillance footage recorded by a camera in Leduc’s classroom that appeared to corroborate the first victim’s account. The footage, according to Werne, showed Leduc molesting the victim behind a cabinet.

Surveillance footage captured in the school’s hallway also appeared to show Leduc following the victim into a restroom, where he remained with the victim for more than three minutes, Werne wrote.

Buehrer said the church installed cameras in classrooms prior to the August incident in order to protect students and teachers. After the footage showed Leduc allegedly using furniture to block the cameras, Buehrer said the school reorganized classroom layouts.

“We’ve also moved some cameras to what we think might be better locations,” Buehrer said. “We moved the rooms around and the furniture in the rooms to eliminate any blind spots.”

Leduc is currently being held at the Vanderburgh County jail on a $100,000 bond, according to court records. Vanderburgh County Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman set Leduc’s bond during his initial court appearance Thursday morning.

Gray said the EPD encourages any parent who feels their child may have been victimized “to call 911 and report it so it can be investigated.”

Buehrer said the school took a “proactive” approach to improve child safety following Leduc’s first arrest in August.

“It’s painful when these things happen; you never wish them to happen on your watch,” Buehrer said. “We’re just praying for everybody and praying for justice in this case.”

Today, the Courier & Press reported:

A former pre-kindergarten teacher who stood accused of molesting two students in Evansville pleaded guilty Tuesday, nixing the prospect of a jury trial in the case.

The former teacher, 22-year-old Joshua Brandon Leduc, faced charges of child seduction and three counts of child molesting across two criminal cases, according to Vanderburgh County court records.

Those cases were joined, and a trial had been scheduled to begin this week. The proceedings were called off on Friday when Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Audrey Beckerle and Leduc’s defense attorney, Barry Blackard, informed the court both sides had reached an agreement.

Leduc formally pleaded guilty Tuesday, court filings show, but the terms of the agreement were not listed in public court records as of Tuesday afternoon.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Bruce Gerencser