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No Rape Charges Filed in the Maryville Case. Instead, Barnett Gets a Misdemeanor

Matt Barnett, the man accused of raping a 14-year-old classmate when he was 17 and then leaving her unconscious on her front lawn in freezing temperatures, has not been charged with rape. Instead, as part of an agreement with the prosecutor, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment and was sentenced to just two years probation and a four-month suspended jail term. Barnett’s grandfather was a four-term Missouri state representative and a former state trooper. Critics say that Barnett has received preferential treatment after prosecutors initially dropped the sexual assault charges and closed the investigation. It was only after the case gained national exposure following intervention by the hacker group Anonymous that the case was reopened. This week, his victim, 16-year-old Daisy Coleman attempted suicide after facing months of harassment and online bullying. In a statement read by the prosecutor, Daisy said, “To all of those who supported me, I promise what happened on January 8 of 2012 will not define me forever” …

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