A single misdemeanor charge has been filed in a case of alleged sexual assault in Maryville that has gained international attention.
The Kansas City Star reports 19-year-old Matthew Barnett of Maryville is accused of child endangerment for leaving then-14-year-old Daisy Coleman semi-conscious and barefoot in freezing temperatures the morning after the assault allegedly took place, in January, 2012.
Barnett had previously been charged with felony sexual assault and child endangerment but those charges were dropped in 2012. A Star story on the handling of that case last year garnered global attention and led to the appointment of a new prosecutor in the case, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who filed the latest charge. She is expected to speak about the case later this afternoon.
Coleman said Barnett attacked her at a house party. Her mother contends political favoritism led to the original charges being dropped. Barnett is the grandson of a once-prominent Republican state legislator and Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice is a Republican. Rice says he dropped the charges due to lack of cooperation from Coleman and her family.
Daisy Coleman was hospitalized earlier this week after ingesting several pills. Her family says she took those pills in response to online harassment related to the case.