Man charged with sexual abuse

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 18, 2010

A 20-year-old Andalusia man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly using his computer to set up sex dates with a 12-year-old girl.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said Joseph Kendall Henderson was initially arrested for one count of first-degree sexual abuse; however, after a search warrant was executed on Henderson’s home, and investigators seized Henderson’s computer and other computer-related equipment, the case grew.

“Now, Mr. Henderson faces three additional charges including enticing a child to enter a vehicle, house, etc., for immoral purposes; electronic solicitation of a child and one count of traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act,” Meeks said. “Specifically, he is charged with contacting, meeting and engaging in sexual activity with a 12-year-old female child.”

Meeks said the victim’s parents notified authorities about the alleged incidents, and that the case against Henderson was made using new laws passed in 2009 that address offenses involving adults soliciting sex from children and minors using electronic devices and computers.

“These types of crimes cannot – and will not – be tolerated,” he said. “It seems that these cases are being identified quicker by family members who are vigilant in talking to and checking on their children.

“It’s very important for parents to be involved in their children’s lives,” he said.

Currently, Henderson is being held in the Covington County Jail under a $210,000 bond.