KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A special prosecutor was appointed Monday to reinvestigate allegations levied by a 14-year-old Missouri girl who said she was sexually assaulted by an older classmate who plied her with alcohol in their rural town.
Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was named to the job by a Nodaway County judge. Baker will be able to launch her own investigation and work independently from the local prosecutor, who has faced increasing scrutiny over his handling of the case.
The girl and her mother recently went public, saying Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice didn't do enough before dropping charges against the boy last year. Rice maintains that the family stopped cooperating, which the family disputes, but he requested a special prosecutor last week to re-examine the case.
Melinda Coleman alleges that her daughter was given alcohol in January 2012 by a 17-year-old Maryville High School student who then sexually assaulted her daughter at his home when she became incapacitated. Coleman has said her daughter sneaked out the night of the alleged assault.
Her daughter, Daisy, said another 17-year-old videotaped the assault with a cellphone and that a 13-year-old friend who went with her that night was raped by a 15-year-old boy.
Daisy's alleged assailant was initially charged with felony sexual assault and the second 17-year-old was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. Rice said last week that the charges were dropped because there wasn't enough evidence and Daisy's family had stopped cooperating.
Melinda Coleman adamantly denies the claim, saying she and her daughter never stopped cooperating and were fully prepared to provide whatever assistance would be needed if the case were reopened.