Harden in court May 16.jpg

Quinlyn Harden appears at a court hearing on May 16 before Judge Monte Campbell.

POLK COUNTY — An October trial date has been set for Quinlyn Reed Harden, of Independence.

Harden is facing 34 sex abuse-related charges.

He has been in custody at the Polk County Jail since March 16, 2018, when he was arrested on three counts of first-degree sex abuse involving a girl younger than 14.

Harden is facing a total of 34 charges with five victims: 23 counts of first-degree sex abuse, six counts of first-degree rape, four counts of first-degree sodomy, and one count of second-degree sexual penetration.

On May 23, Polk County Circuit Court Judge Monte Campbell approved a motion to consolidate the four separate cases against Harden.

Jayme Kimberly, senior assistant attorney general and special deputy district attorney for Polk County, filed the motion on May 16.

“It is the state’s position that these four matters should be properly joined based on the fact that they all allege the same or similar offenses, and also because they are connected together in time, investigation and locations,” Kennedy said in the motion.

Harden’s mother, Ceola Harden, owned and operated Stinky Fee Childcare in Independence, where most of the crimes are alleged to have happened.

On May 25, 2018, 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 Harden had behaved inappropriately with a child at the day care, but she didn’t report it.

“During all relevant time frames in the charged cases, (the) defendant resided with his mother and had frequent contact with the children who attended the daycare,” Kennedy said.

She said if the cases were tried separately, “some of the same victims and witnesses” would have to testify more than once “because of the interrelated nature of the evidence.”

Martin C. Habekost, Harden’s attorney, opposed consolidation because, he said, the crimes alleged are not: “part of the same or similar character”; “part of the same act or transaction”; or “based upon multiple incidents which are connected together or constitute parts of common scheme or plan.”

Habekost said consolidation would “cause substantial prejudice to the accused because the evidence necessary to prove the state’s allegations is not mutually admissible in each case; and ... because the evidence is not sufficiently simple and distinct to mitigate the dangers otherwise created by a joinder.”

Harden’s trial is scheduled for eight days starting Oct. 1.

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