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Man Gets Maximum Penalty for Sex Abuse and Fleeing Trial

September 25, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kate Kohler, 215.348.6327, kkohler@buckscounty.org

Darryl Jenkins
       Darryl Jenkins

A Trenton man convicted in absentia after fleeing during his trial for sexually abusing a Bucks County girl was sentenced Friday to serve 11 ½ to 23 years in state prison.

The sentence imposed on Darryl Jenkins by Common Pleas Court Judge Diane E. Gibbons was the maximum allowed by law.

By repeatedly abusing the girl over a number of years, Jenkins is responsible for “the complete devastation of a young life,” Gibbons said, calling him “an extreme danger to the community.”

Jenkins, 53, a longtime employee of the Trenton Housing Authority, was convicted by a jury on April 3 of indecent assault of a victim under 16, unlawful contact with a minor and corrupting the morals of a minor.

The girl told police that Jenkins repeatedly touched her in sexually inappropriate ways, beginning when she was 7 or 8 and continuing well into her teens. She disclosed the acts to a school resource officer, who reported the allegations to authorities.

Jenkins was not present for the verdict, having fled and gone into hiding in the middle of the trial. He contacted his lawyer, Niels Eriksen, the morning he vanished, saying he had checked into an unnamed hospital.

A subsequent check by police of all hospitals in the region found no indication Jenkins had done so, and Gibbons allowed the trial to continue without his presence. He finally was apprehended in late June, and pleaded guilty Friday to an additional charge of default in required appearance.

“The defendant didn’t just not show up,” Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler said in court. “He texted misinformation to his attorney, which led law enforcement on a wild goose chase,” after which Jenkins avoided capture by altering his appearance and residing at multiple locations.

Kohler said Jenkins also manipulated the victim into temporarily recanting her story by contacting her mother during the trial. After Jenkins vanished from the trial, the girl re-took the witness stand and affirmed that her allegations were true.

“Incarceration is the only thing that will keep this defendant from harming others, and continuing to harm the victim,” Kohler argued.

Jenkins’ estranged wife and his 31-year-old daughter both told Gibbons that Jenkins had never been in trouble and never had been accused of hurting a child or abusing a child sexually. Pressed by Gibbons, both said they believed that the victim was lying.

Eriksen noted that the jury had failed to convict Jenkins on more serious sexual assault charges, that his six children had never accused him of deviant behavior, and that he had held the same job for the past 17 years.

“There’s some good in Mr. Jenkins, your honor,” Eriksen said. “I’m not making any excuses for what the jury’s decision is, but there is another side to Mr. Jenkins.”

Gibbons countered that Jenkins had sullied the victim’s reputation in the community, telling people that she had come on to him. During the almost three months that he was a fugitive, the judge said, the girl probably was terrified that he might contact her.

“The defendant took from her everything that it is to be a human being, everything it takes to be a well-adjusted child,” Gibbons said.

His last-minute decision to pull out of a plea agreement forced the victim to testify, the judge said, and the likelihood that Jenkins will appeal will make the girl “worry that some court somewhere is going to make her come back and do it all over again.”

Gibbons sentenced Jenkins to one to two years for indecent assault, and consecutive sentences of three and one-half to seven years on each of the other three offenses.

The judge said she wanted to send a message to the community that “when children are victimized, when children are hurt, they will receive justice if they report it.”

The case was investigated by the Morrisville Borough Police Department and the Bucks County Detectives.

Approved for release by Gregg D. Shore, First Assistant District Attorney.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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