OK, this is the very thing I have referenced time and again about how sexual crimes should not be dealt with. On Friday, Darren Paden was sentenced to 50 years in prison for pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy with a 5-year-old girl. His 28-year-old son, Anthony, was also charged with sex abuse.

The little girl that Paden raped over 300 times across the span of a decade is now 18-years-old and is finding that her Missouri community is turning their backs on her and shunning her.

Paden refused to plead guilty, even though he told police that he began watching pornographic videos with the girl in 2001 or 2002 and began to abuse her once or twice a month for the next decade. Instead, this man publicly called the girl a liar.

He would not only confess to police his crimes, but would write letters to the girl and his family apologizing for what he had done, but it took him two years to admit his guilt in court.

If all of that is not twisted enough, the really twisted part comes from the community, and sadly even from the Church.

They seem to ignore the clear testimony of both the victim and Paden.

"Only God, Darren and (the victim) know what truly happened," said Gene Blankenship, a trustee at the New Market Christian Church. "I feel Darren may have admitted to things he did not do after hours of interrogation and all the pressure to admit guilt."

Paden served in the Gulf War and was a junior deacon at the same church.

"Darren is one of the most admirable people I know," wrote Adele Brightwell, a friend of Paden. "He holds fast to his morals."

"I truly believe that Darren has already suffered extensively for his actions by being kept away from his young children and his home life, and by not being able to provide for this family," wrote Darla Hall Emmendorfer, a supporter of Paden. "Because of the significant difficulties that will face his innocent family, I would ask you, Judge Van Amburg, to grant Darren a sentence of probation or at least the lowest possible sentence."

The reality is that no matter how much "good" Paden had done in his life, that will not overcome the evil deeds he committed against this girl. There really ought to be a lesson there for those who think their good deeds will justify them before God, which is why we need a Savior to endure our own punishment for our crimes against our Creator.

However, what is amazing to me is that is supporting this man in the way the church and the community has done, they are, in essence, blaming the victim. They are not seeking justice in the matter. They are seeking injustice.

The claim that "Darren has already suffered extensively" is a silly plea. What about his victim?

She testified, "I couldn't face the world, and I couldn't face this town that made me feel like I was unwanted by everyone. . . .  I was genuinely terrified to go into our new café in town because I was scared someone was going to yell at me or refuse to serve me.  I was even scared they would tamper with my food.  I feel so unwelcomed in a town that I have grown up in.  I feel like an outsider that just strolled in and everybody is giving their own analysis on; and making up gossip that people believe instead of just coming up and talking to me. . . .  Try dealing with that on top of being called a liar every day. . . ."

According to the Kansas City Star:

On the other side was the victim, now 18, who said this week that although she has received some strong words of support, she largely has been ostracized and even been declared a liar by some in the community where she also has lived her entire life. All she did was tell — and much of the community turned its back on her.

"I know there are a lot of people who support me," she said this week in a personal interview in Platte City. But what she has experienced most is the chill from "the people who refuse to believe me…"

"I called a lady about a house she was renting," the victim continued, "and I told her my name, and she said, 'What's your name again?' and I told her and she said 'I don't want to rent to you' and then hung up on me."

Some townspeople have shunned or turned away from her.

"Before this, there were people who would come up and talk to me and have conversations with me," she said. "Now they won't even look at me or talk to me."

Her mother believes her, the victim said.

"There are certainly a few good people in the community who have offered their support to this young victim," said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd in a prepared statement. "It is shocking, however, that many continue to support a defendant whose guilt was never truly 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?"

Though I disagree with the village comment, the point is well taken. Those supporting Paden and ostracizing the young woman are already bowing to Sharia in a sense. As we have pointed out, under Islamic law, the women victims are punished extensively while the men are often given a slap on the wrist. Just read the accounts of Alicia Gali or Marte Deborah Dalelven. Isn't this kind of behavior towards the victim a step in that direction?

The judge has sentenced Paden to 25 years each on both counts and by law, they must be consecutive. Therefore, he will die in prison. The problem is that this is not justice for the victim or the taxpayers. Both will now be required to give up a portion of their income and have their property held hostage to take that income in order to feed, clothe and house Mr. Paden. At least he's off the streets, but this is far from justice.

Communities should be supporting victims, not shunning them, and they should be bringing justice on criminals, not pleading for them.

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