Teen accused of rape pleads to lesser charge, victim claims politics played a role
MARYVILLE, Mo. (CNN) – A case involving a 14-year-old, who claims she was raped, is making headlines across the country.
Daisy Coleman, 14, and her mother claim they were run out of town after they accused two of her classmates of sexual assault.
Matthew Barnett, 19, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment.
Prosecutors claim Barnett left Coleman drunk, freezing and not wearing a jacket outside her mother’s house in January.
Jay Hobbs, Barnett’s attorney, said, “The misdemeanor charge, which Mr. Barnett pled guilty, accurately reflects the conduct for which he should be held accountable.”
However, he did not face charges for rape.
Daisy Coleman and another 13-year-old girl allege Barnett and another high school boy raped them after a night of drinking.
The rape charges against Barnett, who was 17 at the time, were dismissed.
The Colemans claim political ties played a role in the case.
Barnett’s grandfather was a popular four-term state representative.
The Colemans say they were run out of Maryville and blamed for the rape.
A national outcry followed and a special prosecutor re-examined the case.
Jean Baker said, “My job is to analyze evidence. In this case, there was insufficient evidence to go forward on a sexual assault.”
Barnett was sentenced to two years probation with no jail time.
Last week, Coleman’s mother says her daughter tried to take her own life after being bullied on Facebook.
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