Embattled Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert L. Rice on Wednesday announced that he had cleared the way for the possibility of new charges being filed in a sexual assault case that has received international attention.
The mother of a teenage Albany, Mo., girl said Monday she hoped the fresh attention given a dismissed Maryville, Mo., sexual abuse case would prompt local authorities to take another look at it. "I'd like to see some justice, " said Melinda Coleman in an interview on CNN.
Matthew Barnett, 19, also apologized to his victim, Daisy Coleman, who was 14 at the time. The charge was misdemeanor child endangerment, not a felony sexual assault. “There was insufficient evidence,” said Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County prosecuting attorney appointed special prosecutor in the case.
Jean Peters Baker is expected to offer a status report on her investigation. A Nodaway County judge appointed Baker as special prosecutor in October amid an international furor over the decision by the prosecutor there to drop charges.
Robin Bourland, a longtime acquaintance of the family, said Coleman was being treated at a Kansas City children’s psychiatric hospital after ingesting unidentified pills Sunday evening. Coleman’s mother, Melinda Coleman, first released news of the suicide attempt in a Facebook post Monday.
The teen who admitted having nonconsensual sex with Daisy Coleman’s 13-year-old friend from Albany, Mo., was taken into the state juvenile justice system. Nearly two years later, the Albany victim’s mother has learned that her daughter’s assailant, then 15, returned home for treatment after two weeks in custody.
The “Justice4Daisy” rally originally was intended to protest the handling of the case of Daisy Coleman. But once a special prosecutor was named to look into the case, said an event organizer, it became a rally in support of sex abuse victims everywhere.
Associate Judge Glen Dietrich has chosen Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker as the special prosecutor in the case of an alleged sexual assault in 2012 in Maryville, Mo. Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice asked Dietrich to appoint a special prosecutor last Wednesday, after a story on the case in The Kansas City Star prompted an international outcry.
In this close-knit town of 12,000 some 90 minutes north of Kansas City, there were few who weren’t already painfully aware of the murky particulars of a case that had divided the city. Residents say that not only do they once again feel whipsawed by claims and counterclaims but also by another emotion: Fear.
Melinda Coleman on Thursday provided five excerpts from what she said was a secret recording of a May 2012 conversation with Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert L. Rice. Here is a partial transcript. The first excerpt, which was merely a preliminary conversation with a secretary or assistant, is not included.
Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice said Wednesday that he’s asked a judge to appoint a special prosecutor who can determine whether any charges will be filed in connection with an alleged sexual assault in the county in 2012. Rice made the statement Wednesday afternoon in Maryville, Mo., at a heavily attended news conference.
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and House Speaker Tim Jones have urged new investigations in a sexual-assault case that has embroiled the town of Maryville, Mo., and gained international attention. The prosecutor who dropped charges in the case has reiterated that the victim’s family was uncooperative and evidence was lacking, statements that the family refutes.
The mother of a teenage Albany, Mo., girl said Monday she hoped the fresh attention given a dismissed Maryville, Mo., sexual abuse case would prompt local authorities to take another look at it. The Coleman family appeared on CNN to repeat that they believe justice was not served in the 2012 sexual abuse case.
The incident sparked outrage in Maryville, Mo., though the worst of it was directed not at the accused perpetrators but at a victim and her family. In the months that followed, Melinda Coleman lost her job, and her children were routinely harassed. When it became too much, they left.