Two and a half years after charges were originally filed, a Dearborn man pleaded guilty Monday, Aug. 17 in Platte County court to sexually abusing a young girl on a regular basis over a period of six to eight years. Darren L. Paden, 52, faces up to 60 years in prison for two felony counts of first degree statutory sodomy involving a victim under age 12. Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd said his office would seek 30-year sentences on each count. By law, those sentences must be run consecutively.
After the guilty plea, authorities took Paden into custody. He is being held without bond and will be sentenced at 11 a.m. on Oct. 2.
“Those who may have believed the whispers of denial now know the truth,” Zahnd said. “Darren Paden preyed on a defenseless girl again and again. He deserves sympathy from no one. He deserves justice, and justice demands that he spend the rest of his life in prison.”
According to Zahnd, Paden admitted to sexually abusing the girl once or twice a month from the time she was five or six years old until she was 12 or 13. Based on his confession, Paden would have abused the girl somewhere between 70 and 140 times.
Paden admitted he sexually abused the girl once or twice a month from 2001 to 2009 when the Platte County Sheriff’s Office interviewed him in December 2012. He also wrote letters apologizing to the victim and his own family for what he had done.
Despite the confession and apology letters, Paden refused to plead guilty to his crimes for more than two years. In his guilty plea, Paden confirmed the girl “was, in fact, truthful” upon questioning by his criminal defense attorney,
“While this defendant admitted to his horrible crimes the day he was arrested, he continually delayed his day of reckoning,” Zahnd said. “Sadly, during that time, many in the community sided with him, compounding the trauma experienced by his victim. Now there can be no doubt: Darren Paden repeatedly committed monstrous acts against a young girl.”
Paden admitted he began watching pornographic movies with the girl in 2001 or 2002.
After watching a pornographic movie with her while she was 5 or 6 years old, Paden performed a sex act on the girl and demanded that she perform a sex act upon him. He regularly abused the girl in that manner over a period of at least six years, according to the girl.
Paden told the girl it was “their little secret” and that she should not tell her mother or anyone else. He also utilized sexual devices on the girl. When authorities searched Paden’s house, they found items matching the description given by the girl.
A charge of felony statutory sodomy remains pending against Anthony Paden, 28 — accused of abusing the same victim. He’s scheduled for a hearing on Sept. 10.
Anthony Paden pleaded not guilty to the charge in 2013.