Missouri man accused of rape avoids felony

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MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A special prosecutor in a Missouri case involving an alleged sexual assault reached the same conclusion as the initial prosecutor when she found there wasn't enough evidence to gain a felony conviction.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker charged Matthew Barnett with misdemeanor child endangerment Thursday. Baker was appointed in October to re-examine high school student Daisy Coleman's claim that Barnett raped her in January 2012 when she was 14.

Barnett was 17 at the time and the girl's older schoolmate at northwest Missouri's Maryville High School.

The endangerment charge that Barnett pleaded guilty to Thursday stemmed from his leaving the incoherent girl outside her home in freezing temperatures on the night of the alleged assault.

Barnett, now 19, won't have to spend time in jail. He was given probation.

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