CLEVELAND (WJW) – As the search for a missing Cleveland EMS worker continues, a rape suspect accused of stalking the 30-year-old woman, appeared in court on Tuesday morning.
65-year-old Michael Stennett was arraigned on charges that he stalked Lachelle Jordan for months, appearing numerous times outside her home and even showing up as the EMS worker was out on emergency calls.
Co-workers say Lachelle Jordan was eventually transferred to EMS headquarters because of concerns caused by Michael Stennett’s alleged conduct.
EMS Union President Mark Barrett told Fox 8, “You know just kind of watching and almost like intimidating, you know it’s the best way I can describe it, you know trying to I guess scare her from testifying.”
Lachelle Jordan vanished on Saturday, two days before she was scheduled to appear at Michael Stennett’s final pretrial hearing in a case where Stennett, who is also a former Cleveland Recreation Department employee, is facing rape and abduction charges.
Lachelle Jordan is the key witness.
On Tuesday morning, prosecutors told the judge that Michael Stennett has repeatedly violated a court order that Lachelle Jordan sought out of concern for her safety and granted in the rape case.
“He was warned by the judge to stay away from the victim, to comply with, fully comply with the no contact temporary protection order,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jose Torres.
During the court hearing, the attorney representing Michael Stennett pointed out that the 65-year-old is not facing any charges related to the disappearance of Lachelle Jordan.
The judge then set Stennett’s bond at $100,000 in the stalking case.
“Although this is a violation of protection order and a menacing by stalking, obviously no contact whatsoever with initials L-J,” said Judge Suzan Marie Sweeney. Investigators say L-J refers to Lachelle Jordan.
On Monday night, Fox 8 News was there as Cleveland police towed three of Michael Stennett’s cars from behind a small apartment he rents on Larchmere Avenue.
On each of the cars, someone had placed a Lachelle Jordan missing flyer. Stennett’s neighbors were unaware of his current problems with the law.
One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told Fox 8, “I’m shocked that there’s any level of involvement with him and this missing girl, and I just read today that he has prior issues that I was unaware of.”
The owner of the building says Michael Stennett has lived in the apartment for more than 35 years, and he says on Monday, Cleveland police secured a search warrant to search the apartment for potential evidence.
Jordan was last seen by relatives on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the area of Fairport and E. 116th St.
Jordan was last seen wearing a blue and white East Cleveland Fire Department hooded sweatshirt with ECFD on the back and the fire logo on the front with crocs.