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Former Christian missionary convicted of sexual abuse and incest after victim under the age of 12 contracts gonorrhea

 
Jordan Dee Andrew Webb appears in a mugshot

Jordan Dee Andrew Webb, a former Christian missionary, appears in a mugshot from April 2022. (Webster County Sheriff’s Office)

An Iowa man and former Christian missionary was convicted of sexually abusing a child after prosecutors told jurors the victim contracted gonorrhea.

Jordan Dee Andrew Webb, 30, hails from the city of Fort Dodge, which is located along the Des Moines River – roughly 100 miles due north of Des Moines itself. On Friday, he was found guilty by a Webster County jury on one count each of sexual abuse with persons under the age of 12 in the second degree, incest, and child endangerment.

“We are pleased with the outcome and that the jury provided justice in this matter,” Assistant Webster County Attorney Bailey Taylor told The Messenger, the local daily newspaper in Fort Dodge.

Webb was arrested in late April 2022 by the Webster County Sheriff’s Office after “health concerns” were raised regarding a juvenile earlier that same month. Those concerns prompted the child’s emergency removal from the custody of their guardian, according to local CBS affiliate KCCI. The victim’s name and gender are not being reported.

An ensuing investigation resulted in a search warrant being executed at an address on 225th Street in Webster County. That address, the Messenger reports, is owned by Harvest Baptist Church and used for its Harvest Baptist Bible College. Webb worked as a missionary – sent by Harvest Baptist – to St. Lucia as part of a “Christ in the Caribbean” project from 2019 through early 2022, according to the paper.

During trial, evidence was presented that Webb was diagnosed with gonorrhea just days before the child was also diagnosed with gonorrhea. The prosecution’s case was aided, in substantial part, by the testimony of Dr. Regina Torson, an expert in child abuse pediatrics, according to the Messenger. Taylor was the lead prosecutor and successfully pushed back against the defense’s claims that the child could have contracted gonorrhea in a non-sexual manner.

“It’s possible, but is it reasonable?” the prosecutor reportedly asked the jury, rhetorically, during her closing statement.

“If this is so possible, why aren’t we seeing it more?” Taylor went on. “There is absolutely nothing reasonable about getting gonorrhea from a bathtub. That’s not a thing, because if it was, there’d be a lot more cases of gonorrhea. It wouldn’t be a sexually-transmitted disease, but it is.”

The defense complained that the entirety of the evidence against the defendant was circumstantial in their closing statement, according to the paper. Defense attorney Dean Stowers also reportedly challenged the credibility of the witnesses in the case, arguing to jurors: “Every one of their witnesses is a reasonable doubt.”

The prosecution said the sheer amount of evidence during the three-day trial was enough to convict the defendant in the case.

“You put those pieces together to come to a conclusion,” Taylor said during the state’s rebuttal. “Don’t ignore what happened to this child. Don’t ignore all of the evidence that you have seen.”

The jury deliberated for less than two-and-a-half hours to find Webb guilty on all counts.

When arrested, the defendant was subject to a $500,000 cash bond, KCCI reported. He later made bond – which lowered to $75,000 cash – and released pending his trial on the charges. After his conviction, however, under a Hawkeye State Supreme Court rule on “forcible” felonies, Webb’s bond was revoked and he was jailed pending his sentencing, with no potential bond, according to the Messenger.

The defendant’s sentencing hearing is currently slated for June 5. He faces up to 32 years in prison.

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