From: Platte County Prosecuting Attorney "Eric Zahnd"

Date: August 17, 2015

Subject: Dearborn man pleads guilty to child sex abuse spanning years

Two and a half years after charges were brought, a Dearborn man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a young girl on a regular basis over a period of six to eight years. Darren L. Paden, 52, admitted on August 17 that he sexually abused the girl once or twice a month from the time she was five or six years old until she was 12 or 13.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “While this defendant admitted to his horrible crimes the day he was arrested, he continually delayed his day of reckoning. 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.

Paden regularly abused the girl in that manner, generally once or twice a month, 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.

Paden also utilized sexual devices on the girl. When authorities searched Paden’s house, they found items matching the description given by the girl.

When Paden was interviewed by detectives with the Platte County Sheriff’s Department in December 2012, he admitted he sexually abused the girl once or twice a month from 2001 to 2009. Based on his confession, Paden would have abused the girl somewhere between 70 and 140 times.

When interviewed by detectives, Paden also wrote letters apologizing to the victim and his 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.

However, during his guilty plea, upon questioning by his criminal defense attorney, Paden confirmed the girl “was, in fact, truthful.”

Paden pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree statutory sodomy involving a victim under age 12. Zahnd said his office would seek 30-year sentences on each count. By law, those sentences must be run consecutively, which would result in a 60-year prison sentence.

Judge James Van Amburg will sentence Paden on October 2 at 11:00 a.m. Paden was taken into custody following his guilty plea and is being held without a bond.

Zahnd said, “Those who may have believed the whispers of denial now know the truth. 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.”

The case was investigated by the Platte County Sheriff’s Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Myles Perry and Chris Seufert.

A photo of Paden is above.

Eric G. Zahnd
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney
415 Third Street, Suite 60
Platte City, Missouri  64079
(816) 858-3476
(816) 858-3472 (fax)