Two years and a day after an alcohol-infused house party led to sex assault allegations, Matthew Barnett, 19, of Maryville, Mo., pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor child endangerment, the Kansas City Star reports. Barnett apologized to his victim, who was 14 at the time. “There was insufficient evidence [for a felony charge],” said Jean Peters Baker, special prosecutor in a case that has garnered international attention. “In this case, and every case, it boils down to the evidence.” In a plea agreement, Barnett admitted he endangered Daisy Coleman when he left her, barefoot and incoherent in freezing temperatures, in her front yard at 2 a.m. Jan. 8, 2012. She was found there three hours later.
Her brother told the Missouri Highway Patrol that her face was blue, her hair was frozen and she “didn't look alive.” The incident, which Baker described as a “horrible night,” followed a party at Barnett's home, where he and Daisy had sex. Daisy said she was so intoxicated he has no recollection of the encounter. Barnett maintains that the sex was consensual. Judge Glen Dietrich put Barnett on two years of probation. He ordered Barnett to avoid alcohol, bars and liquor stores, verbally apologize to Daisy, have no more contact with her, perform 100 hours of community service and reimburse Daisy's family for her mental health treatment up to $1,800.