UPDATED: Local Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Child Molestation Faces More Charges; Resigns Position

Current and former students accused the 34-year-old teacher, who taught at Evergreen for almost 10 years.


Editor's note: This article has been updated to include recent developments.

A fifth-grade Evergreen Elementary School teacher accused of molesting three students faced additional charges June 26 after a fourth student came forward.

Jordan Henderson, 34, was arrested by Pierce County Sheriff's deputies April 18 on suspicion of child molestation. He was under investigation for alleged misconduct and put on administrative leave in early March, according to the Peninsula School District.

The sheriff’s office investigated allegations “which concerned boundary invasions, verbal statements, and potential touching,” said PSD Superintendent Krestin Bahr in a March 15 statement to school staff and families.

Henderson was charged with nine counts of first-degree child molestation against three victims, including his former fourth and fifth-grade students. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment April 19 in Superior Court and was released on $100,000 bail and electronic monitoring. The court ordered him not to have contact with any children but his own.

Henderson was arrested a second time at the end of May after he reportedly violated his parole by having gatherings at his home with minors present. The court increased Henderson’s bail to $750,000, which he posted. 

Investigators also said at the time they found pornography on his devices. He was banned from using internet-accessible devices. 

Prosecutors entered three new first-degree charges against Henderson June 26 after a fourth victim contacted investigators.

Henderson remains free after he posted $750,000 bail. The court did not order an increase in bail after hearing the new charges. 

"As of July 1, Jordan Henderson is no longer an employee of the Peninsula School District. He has resigned his position," Kris Hagel, executive director of digital learning for PSD, told KP News.

Henderson's trial is scheduled for September. 

Child molestation in the first degree is a Class A felony. According to the Revised Code of Washington, “A person is guilty of child molestation in the first degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of 18 to have, sexual contact with another who is less than 12 years old, and the perpetrator is at least 36 months older than the victim.”

At the April hearing, one of the girls said in court she has nightmares about Henderson and can’t sleep without crying. She is afraid he will return to the school.

Henderson taught at Evergreen for nearly 10 years. He is a volunteer pastor for his family’s church group, Wellspring Fellowship, which meets in Lakebay.

That group, led by his father, Chris Henderson, issued a public statement of support.

“I know Jordan to be of the highest character and quality as a man. ... 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.”

According to PSD, “This news may leave some of us with questions or uncomfortable emotions. To provide support, our staff and students have the opportunity to talk to our school counselors about their concerns or emotions surrounding this event. In addition, your child may want to talk to you about their feelings as well,” Bahr said in her statement.

“As this situation continues to evolve, we will update our community as appropriate,” she said. “In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 253-530-1002 or Detective Brendon Ossman at the Pierce County Sheriff ’s Department at 253-798-4876.” 

Ted Olinger contributed to this report.