Town Rallies Around Convicted Child Molester & Our Hearts Break for the Victim (VIDEO)

CourtroomBe prepared to have your faith in humanity dimmed ... Residents of a small Missouri town are putting their support behind a convicted child molester, while shunning his victim. Yes. You read that correctly. And you know what makes it even more unbelievable?

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This awful human being, one Darren Paden, father of seven, actually CONFESSED to his crimes. Yes. That's right. There's absolutely NO gray area here, no way anyone in that town can tell themselves that maybe, just maybe, that poor little girl was making up her awful story.

Just what did Paden admit? That he sexually assaulted a young girl at least 200 times over a decade -- assaults that started when the now-18-year-old girl was only 5. Assaults that involved showing that little 5-year-old child pornography, and forcing her to perform sexual acts. Assaults that he said should be their "little secret."

It's impossible to type that without feeling physically ill, but it's even harder to keep typing. Because the Kansas City Star reports that many people in Dearborn, Missouri, support Paden, not his victim. Many still somehow believe Paden is innocent, even as he was sentenced Friday to life in prison -- or they believe at the very least that the judge should take into consideration all the good things about him. Since September, 16 of those people have sent letters to the court testifying to this man's character.

I mean, WHAT?

Meanwhile, his victim says that townspeople have been shunning and turning away from her since the accusations came out three years ago. "Before this, there were people who would come up and talk to me and have conversations with me," she told the Star. "Now they won't even look at me or talk to me."

This just truly makes my blood boil. It's exactly this kind of story that makes it so daunting and scary for rape and abuse victims to decide to come forward. What is wrong with people?

FOX 4 News reports that even on the Monday after the sentencing, their news crews "knocked on doors" and "talked to more than a dozen people off-camera who were shocked by the charges." Can you believe it? 

"Some even defended him, others called the accusations rumors, despite Paden's guilty plea," FOX reports. "Others just said they thought the charges had been dropped because they didn't believe there was any way Paden could've done this."

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In a prepared statement, the prosecutor Eric Zahnd said that, especially given the fact that Paden confessed within a couple of hours of being questioned, the lack of support for the victim was "deeply troubling." It "breaks my heart," he said. 

It breaks mine, too.

 

Image via © moodboard/Corbis

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