Golden accepts plea deal for 14 years in prison
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Dec 20, 2013 | 9402 views | 4 4 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Darrel James Golden sits shackled to a bench in Department 35 of the San Joaquin Superior Court in Stockton during his arraignment Friday, Nov. 8.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Darrel James Golden sits shackled to a bench in Department 35 of the San Joaquin Superior Court in Stockton during his arraignment Friday, Nov. 8. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
STOCKTON – A fourth-grade teacher at Traina School, Darrel James Golden, pleaded guilty Friday, Dec. 20, to four courts of lewd acts upon a child and is expected to be sentenced to 14 years in prison as part of a plea bargain agreement in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

Golden faced 21 counts of lewd acts upon a child, 11 counts of molesting a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

He pleaded guilty to Counts 1, 2, 9 and 18.

Deputy District Attorney Elton Grau said the incidents involved three separate victims, one of which was victimized twice. He said he dropped the remaining charges and enhancements based on Golden’s plea.

Based on the court documentation, three of the incidents reportedly occurred between August 2012 and November 2012, as well as one incident between August 2011 and May 2012, according to Judge Franklin Stephenson.

Grau said the four incidents in question involved outside the clothing touching of the child victims, whose ages were not disclosed.

Stephenson told Golden by pleading guilty he was being sentenced to eight years in state prison for Count 1 and two years prison for each of the remaining counts.

He also reminded Golden that he would be required to register as a sex offender for life and serve parole for 10 years upon his release from prison.

Golden will be formally sentenced at 2 p.m. on Feb. 21 in Department 35 of Stockton court.

After the hearing, Grau said outside the courtroom that the heroes of the case were current Traina employees, Principal Jon Ovick and custodian Augustin Melchor, who notified law enforcement immediately about an alleged incident involving Golden.

Melchor testified to a grand jury on July 29 that he saw Golden grab the buttocks of a 9-year-old female student inside his fourth grade classroom on Nov. 28, 2012. He then told the jury he reported the incident to Ovick, who contacted Tracy Police.

“These two gentlemen did everything correct,” Grau said. “They contacted law enforcement.”

He chastised former principal Susan Moffitt for not contacting police after an alleged incident involving Golden was reported to her in 2006.

According to the grand jury report, Jane Doe No. 10 told the panel that Golden touched her genitals while she was in his classroom in November 2006 for a school project. Moffitt confirmed that report in her testimony to the grand jury.

“In 2006 that was the wrong way to approach it,” he said. “It’s terrible what this principal did. She didn’t contact law enforcement. She conducted her own investigation. She asked the child questions. What she did in 2006, not contacting law enforcement, that’s a terrible thing.”

He said Moffitt can not be charged for not conforming to the mandatory reporting law, because there is a one year statute of limitations for this misdemeanor violation.

Golden is expected to serve 85 percent of his prison time and be monitored by GPS for the remainder of his life upon his release from prison, Grau said.

He said having Golden serve 14 years in prison was not a “great resolution” to the case, but “a fair resolution.”

After the hearing, Golden’s attorney Patrick Riggs refused to comment.

Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

Comments-icon Post a Comment
December 20, 2013
I hope they put this guy into General Population and not segregate him in some isolated wing of the prison.
December 21, 2013
I do regret that he gets such a big prominent picture in every issue. He does not deserve that.
December 20, 2013
I'm glad to read that the kids won't have to deal with the ordeal of testifying in court. Right now that's where our thoughts and prayers should be. Bless their hearts.

While he deserves more than 14 years the other prisoners will do their part to make it seem longer. The monster can never hurt a child again.
December 24, 2013
Sex offenders are kept in their own section and protected from general population. His 14 years will actually be more comfortable then most because they have to keep him separate. He will have tv, activities and other luxuries your tax dollars will pay for. He will be very comfortable.

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