Transcript for Twist in Missouri Teen Rape Case
We're going to turn to a new twist out of maryville, missouri, that captivated so much of the country where a prosecutor caused an uproar by dropping all charges against a young man accused of sexually assaulting a young girl blacked out from too much alcohol. New charges have been filed and matt gutman has the story. Reporter: Two years after being accused of raping this girl, 14-year-old daisy coleman, matthew barnett pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge for child endangerment. Matthew barnett accepts full responsibility for the conduct charged. Reporter: The rape charges were dropped for lack of evidence that the high school football player sexually assaulted coleman at a house party in 2012. I remember being picked up by him and then drinking, but then everything after that was just black. In this case there was insufficient evidence to go forward on a sexual assault. Reporter: In addition to the probation, community service having no contact with daisy coleman and paying $1800 for her mental health treatment, barnett was also forced to acknowledge via verbal apology that he endangered the life of the semiconscious high school freshman by dumping her at her maryville home hours before dawn. I heard something in the front yard and I jumped up and ran out and found her laying in the yard. Her hair was wet and frozen. And I could see that she had frostbite on her feet. They had started to turn gray. She couldn't walk. She couldn't talk. She was completely not there. Reporter: Though barnett was originally charged with sexual assault and child endangerment both charges were dropped in 2012 in what some believe is special treatment because of his family's prominence in town. Last year a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate. Our review of this case will be without fear and without favor. Reporter: Neither coleman nor her mother attended the hearing thursday but in a statement read by the prosecution daisy says she was grateful that barnett took responsibility for his actions. Now, this has been devastating to daisy coleman. Right now in kansas city recovering after trying to take her own life earlier this week, but overnight she said she's now ready to move on. We'll have much more on the toll it's taken on daisy coleman, on her family and the town of maryville tonight on "20/20." Thanks. Ryan smith has more on this. You know, so much outrage and so much attention paid to the case, special prosecutor appointed. In the end misdemeanor? Right. That's it. That goes to show you the role of the prosecutor in cases like this, whether it's a local county prosecutor or the attorney general of the united states, you can only bring a case and charges when you can prove the elms of that crime and this prosecutor talked about how there was insufficient evidence to prove a case of sexual assault. Dig into that a little bit more, the girl is drunk to the point of unconsciousness, just 14 years old. That's not enough? No, because this is what i would call a legal catch-22. She's given this alcohol she claims by this young man. She becomes inebriated, blacks out. For the prosecutor trying to prove the case she doesn't have enough evidence and information from the girl about what happened and makes it hard to prove the case. Daisy and her mom do seem to be somewhat supportive of the prosecutor. That's I surprise to many people but then you think about what satisfies people in cases like this. Think about what she would have gone through if a trial occurred. She'd be on the stand facing intense cross-examination. In some ways, she would be on trial. That's what people think about when they think about cases like this. So she wanted to get that out of the way, I think and get on with her life. Seemed relieved that the young man did assume some responsibility. Yes. Thanks, ryan, very much.
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