Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger announced last week that Darran Wade Boston, age 40, of Mexico, Mo., was sentenced today to 527 years in prison by Audrain County Circuit Court Judge Wesley C. Dalton. Boston was convicted by and Audrain County jury in April on 28 counts of statutory rape, statutory sodomy, child abuse, sexual exploitation of a minor, use of a minor in a sexual performance, child molestation, and endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree and possession of more than 20 images of child pornography after a two-day trial.
According to a press release from Shellabarger, the judge gave Boston the maximum sentence on each and all of the counts, then ran each of the counts consecutive to each other for a total of 527 years. Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger, and former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, now Assistant Attorney General, Ashley Turner, tried the case April 13 and 14 to an Audrain County jury of six men and six women.
The jury found Boston guilty of each of the 28 charges after deliberating for an hour and a half during that trial.
“This is the worst case I’ve seen in my [nearly] 35 years in practice, as a private attorney, as an associate circuit judge, and as a Circuit judge,” Judge Dalton stated when pronouncing his sentence. “I have never read a sentencing assessment report that disturbs me as much as this one. Mr. Boston, in talking with the probation officer, indicated that he didn’t think he did anything wrong, that he believes his behavior was right, and that he believed his behavior was right and good. I’ve never seen anything like it…It is my intention with this sentence that he never be released. I want it to be done.”
“Today’s sentence sends the strongest possible message against the horrific atrocities Darran Boston committed against these innocent young women,” Shellabarger said. “The courage these young women had to confront their abuser, to tell him what he did to them was real, torturous, abusive, controlling and wrong was empowering to them and to our community. Together, our law enforcement partners and the multi-disciplinary team investigated a thorough, complete case and the forensic digital evidence analysis of Mr. Boston’s camera and computers revealed the true extent of his depraved torture and sexual abuse. Darran Boston took no responsibility for the repeated torture, abuse, pain and suffering he caused to these innocent survivors. At today’s sentencing, we heard from these survivors of horrific abuse, and these brave, smart, and beautiful young women had the courage to rise above this abuser’s power and control to tell our community about what happened to them. They also said they have grown stronger.”
During sentencing, Judge Dalton said this was the worst case he has seen in his career as both a judge and a private attorney. Judge Dalton heard from the victims, their family members, and one of the case jurors during the sentencing.
“I believe justice has been done in this case,” said Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. “I hope the Judge’s sentence will allow the two victims and their families to put this behind them and begin the healing process.”
At sentencing, trial juror 10 said, “This trial served as the worst two days and the best two days of my life. The best because my fellow jurors and I had the chance to find this depraved animal guilty of atrocities that humans can’t imagine. The worst was the testimony we heard and the pictures of the horrible, unspeakable things Darran Boston did. My worst nightmares couldn’t prepare me for what we had to see. These girls went from Barbies to blackness in a moment and Darran Boston put them there.”
“This jury was amazing – they were focused, attentive, and were exposed to things we all hope no one ever has to see or experience – child sexual abuse and abuse of children,” Shellabarger said. “The jurors stayed focused on the State’s evidence, which included numerous images of child pornography and are to be commended for their toughness and diligence in holding this abuser accountable through their guilty verdicts in each of these counts. I know this case must have been haunting and difficult to experience as a juror, and many of the jurors were dabbing away tears as the verdicts were read. Today, one of our jurors testified at the sentencing about the impact on her life and on our community as a whole. That speaks volumes about the depth of the horror Darran Boston’s actions had on our community and these victims.”
Boston raped, sodomized, abused, and exploited two young girls in Audrain County during a 21 month period between 2013 and 2015, documenting the abuse with photographs.
“This case is a testament to the power of the multi-disciplinary team approach in working cases,” Shellabarger noted. “Each involved agency: the Mexico Public Safety Department, the Audrain County Juvenile Office, Missouri Children’s Division, the Rainbow House Regional Child Advocacy Center, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office have been invaluable in working this case thoroughly and intensely since the investigation began last July. This jury has sent a loud, clear message to child abusers and those who sexually abuse children: as a community, we will find you, we will prosecute you, and we will hold you accountable with all available resources. Our victim’s advocate, Leigh Thomas, and our community victims’ advocacy groups, including the Audrain County Crisis Intervention Services, and the Mid-Mo Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), have been patient beyond measure and supportive through the entire criminal justice process, and will continue to provide that wrap-around support that is crucial for young victims that they are supported, safe and protected. Our community must make sure the victim-blaming mentality is put to rest, as these victims faced vicious treatment from others in the community calling names, physical abuse – for telling the truth about Darran Boston, their abuser. Some of that came from Boston’s family members, but others were from community members. I hope this case serves as a wake-up call that the private storm inside our victims may be more unspeakable than what’s known about the case, and survivors of abuse deserve to be taken seriously, understood, and not harassed about things they had no control over – crimes that a criminal did to them, that only he is responsible for. I am particularly grateful for the assistance provided by Attorney General Chris Koster’s Public Safety division special prosecutors. It is their wealth of experience, knowledge and resources allowed this case to be fully investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and allowing justice to prevail for these victims. Assistant Attorney General Ashley Turner is an example of a dedicated, highly skilled and passionate advocate that we should be proud represents our State in its toughest cases. I thank Attorney General Koster for his dedication to the cause of justice and for helping me and my office hold Mr. Boston accountable for these horrific crimes.
Boston was convicted of three counts of Statutory Rape in the First Degree, six counts of Statutory Sodomy in the First Degree, three counts of Statutory Rape in the Second Degree, five counts of Statutory Sodomy in the Second Degree, three counts of Child Abuse in the First Degree, two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, two counts of Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance, two counts of Child Molestation in the First Degree, and one count each of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree and Possession of More than Twenty Images of Child Pornography.
The case numbers are 15AU-CR00546-01 and 16AU-CR00118-01.