A 52-year-old Dearborn, Mo., man admitted in Platte County Circuit Court on Monday that he sexually abused the same girl at least once a month over eight years.
Darren L. Paden pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy. Authorities said Paden began assaulting the girl from the time she was 5 or 6 years old until she was 12 or 13.
The victim told police that Paden began showing her pornography in 2001 or 2002 and abused her after watching the movies.
Paden regularly abused the girl in that manner, generally once or twice a month, over 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, said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd.
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The alleged abuse continued until the girl was in seventh grade and attended a class about sexual abuse. She then realized that the activity was illegal. However, the victim did not report the abuse until several years later, Zahnd said.
While being interviewed by Platte County investigators in December 2012, Paden admitted he sexually abused the girl once or twice a month from 2001 to 2009. Based on that information, authorities believe that Paden abused the girl 70 to 140 times, he said.
“While this defendant admitted to his horrible crimes the day he was arrested, he continually delayed his day of reckoning,” Zahnd said in a prepared statement. “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.”
His son, Anthony L. Paden of Bellevue, Neb., is accused of assaulting the same girl. He faces one count of first-degree statutory sodomy. That case remains pending.
Darren Paden is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 2. He is being held without bond.
Zahnd said his office would seek 30-year sentences on each count. Based on Missouri law, those sentences must run consecutively, which would result in a 60-year prison sentence, he said.