A Missouri prosecutor who dropped charges in an alleged sexual assault case involving a 14-year-old girl in Maryville, Mo. says he's asking a court to appoint a special prosecutor to look at the case.
Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice said in light of the attention the case has generated this week he was asking for a special prosecutor in order to uphold the public confidence in the justice system. But he also continued to insist that the charges were dropped because the Coleman family stopped cooperating and chose not to be deposed.
“Their cooperation was not there,” said Rice. “When I asked them, ‘Are you invoking the 5th Amendment? Do you understand that the entire case will have to be dismissed?’ They said they understood."
Daisy Coleman's mother, Melinda Coleman told reporters the family cooperated fully until after the sexual assault charges against defendant Matthew Barnett had been dropped and charges reduced to endangerment of a child. Melinda and Rice have been at odds on the issue of cooperation.
Prosecutor Rice said could not release the transcript of the deposition because the case was closed.
After the news conference Coleman told KMBC-TV9, she was happy there would be further investigation.
“Just to have people listen and have a look at it with an objective eye is sweet for us at this time because we haven't had that,” said Coleman
Under Missouri law, it’s up to a judge to appoint special prosecutors at the request of a county prosecutor.