Girl molested after inviting neighbor to baptism

Posted at 12:31 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 14:31:02-05

A Mesa man has been arrested for molesting a girl who delivered a baptism invitation to his family.

Court documents show on January 18 an 8-year-old girl went to the home of 53-year-old James Michael Darrach to deliver an invitation to her baptism.

Darrach asked the victim if she wanted to play in the front yard with his nephews. She said she was jumping between electrical boxes, and as Darrach was helping her jump from one to the other he touched her inappropriately. She said he repeated this act eight or nine times.

Police said the victim's parents confronted Darrach, and he denied touching her inappropriately, but said if he did, it was just an accident.

However, police say, the next day Darrach contacted the parents and they talked with him again outside of his home near Greenfield Road and University Drive.

In a recorded conversation, the parents gave a detailed description of what they were told by the victim. This time, Darrach admitted to some inappropriate contact and asked the parents not to report him, because he knew he would be going to prison.

Darrach also asked for time with his wife before the parents reported this to police.

On Feb. 10, Darrach was arrested by Mesa Police. He made no statements about what happened.

The 53-year-old man has a prior conviction for lewd acts with a minor, and failed to report his sex offender status.

Darrach is now being held without bond on three counts of child molestation.