17 year old Matthew Barnett was charged with sexual assault against a 14 year old girl, and 17 year old Jordan Zech was charged with felony sexual exploitation of a minor for allegedly filming the assault of the 14 year old, as well as another assault that occured at the same time where a 15 year old assaulted a 13 year old girl, the filming occured with a cell phone.
The assaults occured January 8, 2012. On March 13, 2012, felony charges against Barnett and Zech were dropped. Barnett now only faces a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. (They gave the girls alcohol, and after the assaults, left them passed out in the front yard where the 14 year old girl lived. They were there all night in 30 degree weather.) Zech now faces no charges at all.
Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice was interviewed by St. Joseph based TV station on March 14, 2012.
"We did have all the medical, and all the information where we could make a decision based on the evidence, and I am absolutely convinced it was the right call to do, and it was the right decision to dismiss it," he says.
However, the rape kits performed on both the girls haven't even come back yet for investigators to see. There was video evidence, also the 15 year old boy plead guilty, confession to his part of the assaults, as well as possibly details pertaining to what Barnett and Zech did.
Matthew Barnett is also in a very influential family in Maryville. His grandfather is Missouri represenative Rex Barnett, and Rex serves on at least one committee with Sheriff Darrin White.
These assaults occurred in the Barnett home, while family slept upstairs, yet the charges were dropped before the rape kits even came back. The girls have been taunted, and cyber-bullied all due to the influence of this one family. We want to know if their influence reached Rice and White as well. Please sign our petition, give these girls and their families some relief, justice, and closure.
Also, if you would, drop an email to the attorney general's office, to AG Chris Koster. Let him know what has happened here, and to please investigate this case, and the offices of prosecuting attorney Robert Rice, and Nodaway county Sheriff Darrin Rice and their possible involvement with state rep Rex Barnett. Mr. Koster's email is:
References used to write this petition: