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Colemans Issue Statements on Barnett Plea

Melinda Coleman says she hopes something good will come from Thursday's guilty plea.
(MARYVILLE, Mo.) The mother of an alleged sexual assault victim is speaking out after her alleged attacker pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

Melinda Coleman says she hopes Thursday's plea brings some closure for her family.

Coleman said she wanted to be present for Thursday's proceedings but chose to be with her daughter instead. In a statement released by her attorneys, Coleman said, "I hope that today's resolution of this criminal case brings some closure for my family, especially my children, and for the community. All of us need to come together in a more positive way."

"These last two years have been extremely painful. But today I hope somehow, some way that something good will come from this."

Coleman also thanked special prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker for her, "hard work and determination in the case."

The victim also offered thanks to everyone involved. In a statement issued to Peters-Baker, the victim said, "Today, I am grateful that the defendant took responsibility by pleading guilty tot he charges. I am ready to move forward. To all those who supported me, I promise that what happened to me on January 8, 2012, will not define me forever."
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