Nodaway Co. Authorities Feel Vindicated by Special Prosecutor Review

Nodaway Co. Authorities Feel Vindicated by Special Prosecutor Review

The Nodaway County Sheriff and Nodaway County Prosecutor both took heavy criticism after not filing felony charges in an alleged 2012 sexual assault case. Now they're speaking out after a special prosecutor agrees with them.
(MARYVILLE, Mo.) One person not surprised felony charges were not filed against Matthew Barnett Thursday was Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White.

"Looking at it, then looking at it again, everybody came to the same conclusion," White said.

White was involved in the original investigation into claims that then-14-year-old Daisy Coleman and another teen were sexually assaulted during a late night house party in 2012.

"I think the special prosecutor got a real mess handed to her and I think she's given it due diligence," White said.

There was a public outcry when sexual assault charges were originally filed and then dropped. Some said special favors were made to Matthew Barnett's family.

"People really haven't been interested in the facts or the truth," White said. "This has always been about attention and it's always been about the fervor of getting everybody worked up and getting people to be angry."

Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice stayed in his office through the day and out of the spotlight. He was also pleased with special prosecutor Jean Peters Baker's findings.

"I knew when someone else could take a look at it, they would really resolve a lot of fears and anxieties that people with good intentions had," Rice said.

Speaking exclusively to KQ2, Rice responded to the criticism his office took for its handling of the case and for the amount of negative attention brought down on Maryville.

"It wasn't this community, it wasn't law enforcement, it wasn't fair that they were characterized the way that they were," Rice said. "I regret that. At the end of the day, I want folks to know my choice was my decision on how to handle the case."

Sheriff White hopes everyone learned a lesson through the ordeal.

"You have parents that are not fully aware of what their children are doing," White said. "I say that as a parent that has a teenage daughter and a soon to be teenage daughter. I am facing these same things that every other parent is facing."

Both White and Rice said they played no part in the special prosecutor's review. While most hope this puts an end to the story, Sheriff White fears some will still not be happy.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus