Maryville man accused of rape charged with misdemeanor

Jan 9, 2014

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Credit Flickr / steakpinball

A Missouri man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old schoolmate when he was 17 has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge as part of a deal with prosecutors.

19-year-old Matt Barnett entered the plea today during a court hearing in his hometown of Maryville. He was sentenced to two years of probation and a four-month suspended jail term.

Special prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has been re-examining the girl's allegations that Barnett raped her at a January 2012 house party. Barnett says the sex was consensual.

Baker stepped in after the local prosecutor was criticized for dropping the case because he alleged that the girl's family had stopped cooperating.

See KCUR's extensive coverage of this story here.