KC prosecutor to investigate Maryville teen rape case - KCTV5

KC prosecutor 'honored' to investigate Maryville teen rape case

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said she is honored to have been tapped as the special prosecutor in a high-profile rape case in northwest Missouri.

"I was honored to receive that case. I was honored to be of service to the people of Nodaway County just as I am sure they would serve in that role for Jackson County," she said.

She said law enforcement and court officials in the Maryville area have worked with her office Monday to expedite her receiving the case file.

A state judge selected Baker to handle the case, which has gained national attention in part for the way it was handled by the local prosecutor.

"I know this case has raised a variety of concerns in northwest Missouri. So please know this: This case will be thoroughly reviewed. Our review of this case will be without fear and without favor," she said.

Baker said she has assembled a special team of members of the special victims unit in her office to handle the investigation.

"I can also assure you that politics and connections or any other reason you can think of will not play a role in our review of this case. It will be the evidence as it is in every case we review," she said.

She asked for patience as the process plays out behind the scenes.

"When the time comes, I promise you that I will come back to this very podium and announce our charges, whatever those may be," she said.

She refused to say if the investigation of the Maryville case will impact the handling of the normal Jackson County cases.

Daisy Coleman says she was 14 in January 2012 when a 17-year-old boy plied her with alcohol and had sex with her while a second 17-year-old recorded the incident on his cell phone. The boy was a football star and is grandson of a former Missouri House member. He is now a college student in Missouri.

He has claimed it was consensual sex.

Felony charges against both boys were dropped months later after Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice says Daisy and her family stopped cooperating with the investigation.

Melinda Coleman, Daisy's mother, says the family never stopped cooperating but looks forward to answering questions in a new review of the case.

KCTV5 is naming the girl because her mother has identified her.

Here is Baker's prepared statement in its entirety:

I was informed late this morning by the Circuit Court in Nodaway County, Mo., that my office was being named as special prosecutor in the Maryville, Mo., case. I immediately gathered a team of prosecutors, victims' advocates and investigators to begin our own process to review this matter.

We are today obtaining files from authorities in Maryville. And we will begin our review of the evidence in this case as soon as all those documents are in house here.

I would like to say that I am honored that our office can be of service to the citizens of Nodaway County, just as I am sure they would for Jackson County. My office has prosecuted many similar cases. And we understand that this case has raised numerous and varied concerns in northwest Missouri.

But, as I directed my staff earlier today, we will go about our review of this case as we go about any case. It will be a thorough review without fear or favor. Until we delve into the particulars, we will have no idea how long it will take to complete that review. And we have no idea what the result will be.

I will be involved in directing this review. But a number of highly experienced prosecutors, investigators and others will also take part. Finally, I do wish to beg for the community and the media's indulgence. This process must, for now, be a very internal one. My office will not be commenting about the case as we undertake our review. I also ask that you respect the privacy of the witnesses and victims in this case.

I will be unable at this time to answer any questions.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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