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Special prosecutor in Missouri teen rape case promises thorough review

By Dana Ford, CNN
updated 5:49 PM EDT, Mon October 21, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "Without fear and without favor," says County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker
  • NEW: She was appointed after a different prosecutor dropped charges in the case
  • The alleged victim says she was raped when she was 14
  • Her mother tells CNN she and her daughter want to have the case looked at "fairly"

(CNN) -- A special prosecutor appointed in a controversial case of an alleged rape in Maryville, Missouri, promised on Monday to review the case "without fear and without favor."

"I know that this case has raised a variety of concerns in northwest Missouri, so please know this: This case will be thoroughly reviewed," Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said.

"I can also assure you that politics, 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 that we review," she said.

A judge appointed Baker as special prosecutor days after a different prosecutor, who dropped charges, said he'd request the move.

The alleged victim, a teenage girl, says a teenage boy raped her when she was 14. The initial prosecutor, Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert L. Rice, has said he dropped a sexual assault charge against the boy because the girl and her relatives refused to cooperate.

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"There was insufficient evidence to prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt," he said in a statement.

A charge against the boy's friend who was accused of recording part of the incident on an iPhone was also discontinued.

But the case got new life this month after The Kansas City Star featured it and CNN interviewed the alleged victim, Daisy Coleman, and her mother.

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After this month's reports, Rice said last week that he'd ask a court to appoint a special prosecutor.

CNN does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault but has done so in this case because Daisy and her mother, Melinda Coleman, have chosen to go public.

Both appeared on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" on Monday, one day before a planned protest in support of Daisy at the Nodaway County Courthouse.

The teenager said she and her mother would probably not be going.

"We were pondering it, but it sounds almost as if it wouldn't be safe for us to go just because of all the people in Maryville being very angry with the case right now. But we are thinking about it, and we are very thankful for all the people attending," Daisy said.

When asked what she and her daughter are hoping for, Melinda Coleman told Tapper that they just want to be heard and to have the case looked at "fairly, and with some enthusiasm."

"We were disappointed that they didn't really do the job. They didn't really collect the evidence, and they didn't seem to care from the beginning. Anything above that would just be extra," she said.

CNN's Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.

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