Christian missionary sentenced to 25 years for allegedly infecting preschooler with STD

Missionary Jordan Webb.
Missionary Jordan Webb. | YouTube/ Video Uploads

Jordan Webb, a married Christian missionary and father from Iowa convicted of sexual abuse in April after authorities presented circumstantial evidence that he likely infected a preschooler with gonorrhea, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison although he insists he is innocent.

Webb, 31, served as a missionary on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia with his wife and daughter from 2019 to February 2022 with the support of Harvest Baptist Church in Fort Dodge, according to The Messenger.

A jury convicted him in less than 2.5 hours on charges of second-degree sexual assault with persons under the age of 12, incest and child endangerment in April.

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Webb will have to serve at least 17.5 years in prison before he's eligible for parole, officials said. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life after he is paroled.

When contacted about the sentencing of the former missionary Thursday, a representative of Harvest Baptist church told The Christian Post that no senior leader was immediately available to comment.

Marvin Smith IV, the current pastor at Harvest Baptist Church, praised Webb in a letter to the court last year as a "great citizen" and a "great man in the community," according to WCYB.

Smith said he didn't think Webb was a danger to the community or a flight risk. A few weeks before the pastor sent that letter, court records show Webb was researching how to get a second passport.

Webb, who revealed in an earlier interview that his father is also a pastor, was investigated and charged after his alleged victim — identified as Jane Doe in court papers was diagnosed with gonorrhea in April 2022.

"We are pleased with the outcome and that the jury provided justice in this matter," Assistant Webster County Attorney Bailey Taylor told The Messenger after his conviction.

Though the evidence against Webb is circumstantial, authorities allege that Webb committed a sex act on the victim because just days before the victim tested positive for gonorrhea, Webb was also diagnosed with the disease.

Gonorrhea infects the mucous membranes of the reproductive tract, mouth, throat, eyes and rectum, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Regina Torson, a child abuse expert, testified during the trial that even though the state didn't have any direct evidence of how Webb infected the victim, she wasn't convinced of the defense's argument that the disease could have been spread in a non-sexual manner such as sharing a bathtub.

"It's possible, but is it reasonable?" Taylor asked the jury in her closing arguments. "If this is so possible, why aren't we seeing it more? … 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."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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