Read it in full HERE http://www.kansascity.com/2014/01/09/4739648/editorial-lenient-charge-doesnt.html
..."The prosecutor’s decision doesn’t diminish the appalling nature of what happened to two young girls who slipped out of one’s bedroom to meet up with a popular high school athlete and his friends in January 2012. Both girls, then ages 14 and 13, ended up in a hospital the next day. The older girl and her family, especially, faced harassment and bullying from people in town who supported the boys.
"The girl and her family were forced to relocate to another town, and their house in Maryville burned down from a cause never determined.
"Matthew Barnett pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. He admitted to abandoning the 14-year-old girl outside her home in the cold after having sex with her at his home. He will not face jail time; he was given a four-month suspended sentence and probation.
..."In the case of the 13-year-old girl, a boy who was 15 at the time acknowledged having sex with the girl against her will. He served two weeks in the custody of Missouri’s Division of Youth Services and then returned home for treatment — another outcome that seems lenient.
A third young man was initially charged with felony sexual exploitation for allegedly videotaping a sexual encounter between Barnett and the 14-year-old girl. Prosecutors were unable to locate the recording, however.
Sadly, the victim, now 16, is in a hospital this week after a suicide attempt that her mother said was prompted by cruel postings on social media sites...
The Star Editorial ends with this statement:
"This is a troubling case that has upended a number of lives. The best thing now is to hope for and work toward healing. And parents might look at Maryville as a case study of all that can go wrong when young people underestimate the value of respect — for themselves and for others."
This is a sentiment i have been hearing and reading over and over, week after week, year after year. SPARE ME.