Former Missionary Sentenced 25 Years for Abuse of 4-Year-Old Who Got STD

The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

June 17, 2023

By Rebecca Hopkins

A former Baptist missionary from Iowa has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing a 4-year-old who tested positive for gonorrhea.

Jordan Webb, a 31-year-old former missionary to the Caribbean country of St. Lucia, will be required to serve at least 17.5 years in prison, or 70 percent of his term, before being eligible for parole, The Messenger reported. Days after Webb tested positive for gonorrhea, a preschool family member also tested positive for the sexually-transmitted disease, The Roys Report (TRR) previously reported.

“The state is pleased with the outcome and sentence in this matter,” Bailey Taylor, assistant Webster County attorney and prosecutor, told The Messenger. “We’d like to thank law enforcement, medical professionals involved, and the Webster County community’s help to ensure justice in this matter.”

Webb reportedly worked as a missionary in St. Lucia from 2019 to 2022 with “Christ in the Caribbean.” According to a now-deleted Facebook page, the “sending church” is Harvest Baptist Church, an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) church in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

TRR reached out to Harvest Baptist Church for comment and left a message with the person who answered the phone but did not hear back.

Harvest pastor Marvin Smith IV previously called Webb a “great citizen” and a “great man in the community” in a letter to the court, according to WCYB.

Iowa District Court Judge Christopher Polking sentenced Webb last Friday for the previous convictions of sex abuse, incest, and child endangerment to be served concurrently. The sentences will be served at the same time, rather than one after another, due to the fact that all charges stemmed from the same offense, The Messenger reported.  The child victim has not been identified.

Webb maintained his innocence when the judge gave him a chance to speak at the sentencing hearing, according to The Messenger.

In the week leading up to sentencing, Webb’s attorney Dean Stowers reportedly moved for a new trial. Stowers argued that Polking shouldn’t have admitted statements the victim made to a nurse practitioner at the Allen Child Protection Center. The victim did not testify at trial, so the child’s statement was hearsay, the motion argued.

Also, the victim’s statement was “ambiguous,” Stowers argued, and “capable of causing the jury to speculate as to what (the victim) meant,” The Messenger reported. Stowers also questioned the evidence as “a bunch of speculative inferences.”  

But Polking denied the motion for a new trial.

The maximum sentence for Webb’s three charges would have been 32 years. At the sentencing hearing, Taylor reportedly argued that Webb should serve the sentences consecutively rather than concurrently.

“Given the nature of these offenses, I firmly believe that the maximum sentence isn’t even close to being enough for this man,” said Taylor. “. . . (H)e committed the utmost harm and horrific offense when he committed this act.”

Webb reportedly must register as a sex offender and be on supervised parole for the rest of his life. Webb must also complete sex offender treatment before being eligible for release.

Rebecca Hopkins is a journalist based in Colorado.