Skip to comments.Missouri man accused of rape avoids felony
Posted on 01/10/2014 7:16:51 AM PST by Uncle Chip
MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) Conflicting stories, the fog of underage intoxication and the disappearance of cellphone video of an alleged Missouri sexual assault two years ago led a special prosecutor to reach the same conclusion as the initial prosecutor in the case: There simply wasn't enough evidence to gain a felony conviction.
Appointed in October to re-examine high school student Daisy Coleman's claim that an older schoolmate raped her in January 2012 when she was 14, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker charged Matthew Barnett with one misdemeanor count of child endangerment Thursday.
The charge stemmed from Barnett, a 17-year-old senior at northwest Missouri's Maryville High School at the time, leaving the incoherent freshman outside her home in freezing temperatures on the night of the alleged assault.
Barnett, now 19, pleaded guilty and will serve two years of probation. He must pay for up to $1,800 in counseling fees for Daisy, stay away from alcohol and Coleman and her family, and apologize to the girl.
The special prosecutor attributed her decision to charge Barnett with the same misdemeanor count that sparked harsh criticism against Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice to a lack of evidence....
After more than two months of examining the evidence, Baker came to the same conclusion as Rice: The evidence of a sexual assault was insufficient to gain a conviction on that count.
"It is not the job of a prosecutor to seek convictions. It is the job of the prosecutor to seek justice," Baker said. "I believe this is the right outcome, given the evidence available in this case. This is justice."
Barnett's lawyer, J.R. Hobbs, said "two highly skilled prosecutors from two different jurisdictions have now independently concluded that felony charges are not appropriate in this matter."
(Excerpt) Read more at sg.news.yahoo.com ...
the more you stir Nodaway County the more it stinks......
Perhaps MHP can tell us why this girl would plead the 5th in her deposition?
I’ve read up on this case and it seems convincing to a reasonable observer that the girl and her friend were both raped. Evidence of the rape of the 13 year old friend appears to be more substantial.
The prosecution is likely correct concerning lack of evidence to prosecute a felony charge, but that doesn’t in any way mean justice is being served. It just means the law has its limits and you don’t put people in prison without clear evidence (i.e., justice isn’t served via gut feelings either).
There is a civil suit case to be made, given the availability of alcohol and possibly other drugs to minors and the lack of supervision at the residence.
The girl and her friend put themselves at risk. Talk to your daughters about this.
The boys had no apparent respect for girls. Talk to your sons about this.
The subsequent attacks against the girl’s family are extremely disturbing and inexcusable. Yes feminists are on their soap box on this one, but that doesn’t make the issue a hoax.
oh brother... this girl is no hero... no champion... i hope she learns from her stupidity... if this were my daughter, i would be devastated not only that she may have been raped... and not only that it may have been consensual... but that she put herself in that situation to begin with... sneaking out... drinking... going off with older boys and then drinking a unknown clear liquid...
are you also talking about the availability of alcohol at the girl's own house? she and her friend drank alcohol before they even sneaked out... that's a lack of supervision at her own residence...
Several things made this case difficult to prosecute:
1] Sex between 17 and 14 year olds in Missouri is legal. It is NOT statutory rape.
2] The girl was drinking hard alcohol at mom’s house before she snuck out — so she might have been schnuckered before she got there.
3] The girl was texting the boy from her room as she was drinking. Was she texting sexual consent???
4] And where was her mom during this time??? It was a sleeping over — why was she not checking on them???
5] She pled the 5th in her deposition.
6] Her older brother warned her to stay away from him but she ignored his warning.
That would be the defense’s case.
But civil cases rest on action/inaction and consequences.
No one was raped at the mother’s house, so connecting those dots is a bit harder.
Yes, there are lessons to be learned and taught concerning putting oneself at risk, but one person making themselves an easy victim does not exonerate another from being a victimizer.
My father explained in very clear terms that if I forced a young lady to do anything she was not willing to do, he would turn me over to her father and let him have first crack at me.
Daisy Coleman told police in a criminal deposition that she suggested sexual favors to Barnett if he brought her alcohol
Time to move on, Daisy —