A Dearborn man who sexually abused a girl over the period of a decade, beginning when she was five or six years old, has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Darren L. Paden, 52, received the sentence on Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of first degree statutory sodomy in August.
But Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said something was different—and deeply troubling—about the case: the number of community members who continued to disbelieve the young girl, even though the defendant admitted his guilt within the first couple of hours of his police interview and then pleaded guilty.
“There are certainly a few good people in this community who have offered support to this young victim,” Zahnd said. “It is shocking, however, that many continue to support a defendant whose guilt was never in doubt. If it takes a village to raise a child, what is a child to do when the village turns its back and supports a confessed child molester?” For more on story.