Harden faces charges involving two more victims



DALLAS — The Independence man accused of sexually abusing a child at a day care owned by his mother is facing five more criminal charges involving two more victims.

Quinlyn R. Harden, 24, pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree sex abuse and one count of first-degree sodomy on Friday in Polk County Circuit Court.



The new case involves a girl and boy both younger than 14 at the times of the alleged crimes. Quinlyn Harden is charged with engaging in oral sex and inappropriate touching with one of the victims, and inappropriate touching of the other, according to the grand jury indictment issued Thursday.

The indictment says the crimes took place between January 2008 and December 2012.

Harden has been in custody at the Polk County Jail since March 16, when he was arrested in a separate case on three counts of first-degree sex abuse involving a girl younger than 14. The incidents in the first case happened at Stinky Feet Childcare in Independence, owned by Ceola Harden.

On May 25, the Oregon Office of Child Care revoked Ceola Harden’s license after an investigation into whether she allowed her son to watch children in her charge without supervision.

The final order stated Ceola Harden had been told of allegations that Quinlyn had behaved inappropriately with a child at the day care, but didn’t report it.

Before the decision, Ceola Harden’s license had been suspended since January. Officials with OCC said Ceola Harden has been removed from the Central Background Registry, which means she can no longer provide child care.

In response to a question of whether Ceola Harden will face other penalties as a result of the investigation, the office stated: “OCC evaluates information as it is received. If a situation arose in which Ms. Harden continually violated rules, OCC may impose a civil penalty.”

Christopher Best, an attorney with Salem law firm Gatti Law Firm, said his office now represents five victims of Quinlyn Harden.

“Because of his availability to children in care, we believe there could be many more,” Best said on Monday.

Best said his office hasn’t filed cases on behalf of its clients yet and plans to work in cooperation with the Polk County District Attorney’s Office as Harden’s cases are prosecuted.

Quinlyn Harden is being held on $500,000 bail. He appeared for a pretrial conference in the first case on Tuesday morning and is scheduled to appear on the second case on June 28.

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