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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Supporters of a Missouri girl who says she was raped as a 14-year-old by an older schoolmate who wasn't prosecuted are applauding the selection of a Kansas City attorney who is tasked with re-examining the case.

Daisy Coleman's backers and lawyers who have worked with Jackson County prosecuting attorney Jean Peters Baker say her experience handling high-profile cases and as a victims advocate make her a good choice for special prosecutor in Daisy's case.

Baker says her review of the case will be fair and thorough. The Nodaway County prosecutor determined that there wasn't sufficient evidence to justify charges.

Daisy says an older boy got her drunk and sexually assaulted her in January 2012. He says the sex was consensual.

Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A prominent Kansas City defense attorney has been hired to represent a northwest Missouri man at the center of a teen sexual assault case that has gained worldwide attention because of the way it was handled.

J.R. Hobbs confirmed Thursday that he will assist the Maryville native who was 17 in January 2012 when a 14-year-old girl claimed he plied her with alcohol and sexually assaulted her.

Daisy Coleman says justice was not served when Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice dismissed felony charges against the boy and a second 17-year-old accused of recording the incident on his cellphone.

Jackson County prosecuting attorney Jean Peters Baker was appointed Monday as special prosecutor in the case and will decide whether evidence supports refiling of charges.

 

Published in Local News

MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri prosecutor who dropped charges in a sex assault case involving a 14-year-old girl says he's asking a court to appoint a special prosecutor to look at the case.

   Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice announced the development Wednesday.

   The girl's mother, Melinda Coleman, says her daughter was plied with alcohol and raped by a 17-year-old acquaintance.

   Coleman says the family was forced to move from Maryville because of harassment they faced in the small town. She says that after the alleged attack last January, her daughter was dumped on her family's front porch in freezing cold temperatures.

   Two months after the incident, Rice dropped charges against the 17-year-old boy.

   Rice and the county sheriff have insisted the case collapsed when the Colemans became uncooperative with investigators. Coleman denies that.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State Sen. Kurt Schaefer is suggesting Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster could open an investigation into an alleged sexual assault in northwest Missouri.

Schaefer said Wednesday that an independent review of the evidence is needed after the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped charges against teenagers accused in a sexual assault of two younger girls.

Schaefer is a Republican running for attorney general. Koster is a Democrat who plans to run for governor in 2016.

Koster's office has said it cannot intervene unless a local prosecutor or court asks him to do so.

Schaefer cited a Missouri law allowing subpoenas for witnesses or information to be provided to the attorney general regarding sexual offenses. That law only applies when the venue of the crime is in question.

 

Published in Local News

MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Maryville city and school officials say they are on heightened alert in response to negative attention the city is receiving over a sexual abuse case.

City, school and police officials say they are concerned about reaction expressed on social media and in phone calls after the Nodaway County prosecutor decided to drop sexual assault charges against two 17-year-old boys who were accused of sexually assaulting two younger girls.

On Monday, the activist group Anonymous released an online statement criticizing the city and police for not prosecuting the case. However, the case was handled by Nodaway County, not the city.

The Maryville Daily Forum reports police are increasing patrols to protect anyone involved with the case and school officials met Monday at all three city schools to discuss security.

Published in Local News

MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A former attorney for a Missouri boy accused in a sexual assault case involving a drunken 14-year-old girl says charges were dropped after the girl and her family refused to cooperate in the investigation.

The Maryville case is drawing new attention after The Kansas City Star published the results of a lengthy investigation on Sunday into what happened at a January 2012 party.

In a statement, attorney Robert Sundell says the girl and her mother refused to answer questions during a May 2012 deposition and later offered inconsistencies in another deposition.

Sundell said the boy cooperated with investigators and "freely admitted" to the sexual encounter. The attorney said while the boy's behavior might be reprehensible, it was not necessarily criminal.

The mother denies she and her daughter were uncooperative.

 

Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri attorney general's office says it has no power to reopen an investigation into allegations that two teenage girls were sexually assaulted by some boys at a party.

The case is drawing renewed attention after The Kansas City Star published the results of a seven-month investigation into the case in Maryville.

Melinda Coleman says justice was denied when Nodaway County authorities dropped charges in 2012 against the boys who her 14-year-old daughter claimed had sexually assaulted her and a 13-year-old friend.

County officials say the case against the boys fell apart because the Colemans would not cooperate. Coleman denies that.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Chris Koster says Koster's office lacks the authority to review a local prosecutor's decisions in particular cases.

Published in Local News

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