Missouri prosecutor scolds community for supporting molester
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A county prosecutor is calling out residents of a small northwest Missouri community for supporting a man who confessed to repeatedly molesting a girl for a decade, starting when she was 5.
Platte County prosecuting attorney Eric Zahnd issued a news release last week listing the names and occupations of 16 people in Dearborn who had either written letters or testified on behalf of 52-year-old Darren Paden, who was sentenced Oct. 30 to 50 years in prison for statutory sodomy.
Zahnd says prosecutors made sure Paden's supporters understood that he had confessed to molesting the girl.
Paden's defense attorney says Zahnd's actions against those who wrote letters will have a chilling effect on others who want to vouch for a friend or family member who commits a crime.