Harden in court May 16.jpg

Quinlyn Harden, shown here at a hearing in May, will serve 54 years in prison after being convicted on 30 counts of rape and sex abuse against children. 

DALLAS –Quinlyn Harden, the Independence resident who was convicted last month of 30 sex abuse charges involving children, will serve 54 years in prison.

Polk County Circuit Court Judge Monte Campbell issued the sentence Monday afternoon following statements made by the victims in the case.

Campbell addressed the victims and their families, saying he understood their anger, but added that they should not feel guilt about what happened to them.

“The guilt – please shed that,” Campbell said. “It’s not your guilt. It’s his guilt.”

While Campbell rejected a motion for a new trial submitted by Harden’s attorney Martin Habekost, the defendant maintained his innocence.

“It is no longer what you can prove, but what you can allege,” Harden said.

Prosecutor Jayme Kimberly said that Campbell had the discretion to issue a sentence in the range of 25 years to 147 years based on sentencing guidelines. She argued for the maximum time, but said she was pleased with the outcome.

“I’m very satisfied with Judge Campbell’s sentence and I think it’s a fair sentence,” she said. “I’m not at all disappointed. I think 54 years is appropriate.”

Harden will be under lifetime post-prison supervision.

Kimberly said because Harden was convicted on Measure 11 charges, which require mandatory minimum sentencing, he will not be eligible for early release.

For more on this story, see the Nov. 20 I-O.

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