Statutory rape charge dismissed in older brother's case

·2 min read

Sep. 23—The Jasper County prosecutor has dismissed a statutory rape charge that a rural Joplin man picked up in the course of his brother's arrest in January on charges of abducting and sexually assaulting two underage girls.

Bryan N. Henson, 23, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday in Jasper County Circuit Court on a charge of second-degree statutory rape. The prosecutor's office announced instead that the charge was being dismissed in light of the victim's unwillingness to testify against the defendant.

Henson was charged with the offense after Jasper County deputies went to his address on Cactus Lane. A 13-year-old girl had told authorities that she had been abducted in southeast Missouri, taken to the Cactus Lane address and sexually assaulted by the defendant's 20-year-old brother, Grant D. Henson.

The older brother answered the door, acknowledged to deputies that his brother was in the house and purportedly admitted that a 16-year-old girl who was present was with him. Further investigation led to the charge against Bryan Henson.

Grant Henson was taken into custody at the time on charges pertaining to the 13-year-old victim from East Prairie. The circumstances led investigators to take a second look at a report they had received concerning another missing girl who was located at the same address in July 2021.

During an interview at the Children's Center in Joplin, the second girl told how she had had been picked up by Grant Henson in Wheatland after meeting him on Snapchat, brought to the Joplin area and repeatedly raped.

Grant Henson, who waived a preliminary hearing in March, is facing two counts of kidnapping, four counts of statutory sodomy, two counts of statutory rape and single counts of child molestation and child abuse. He remains in custody on bonds totaling $250,000, including a $100,000 cash bond.