The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 17, 2013

Joplin man faces kidnapping charge involving 13-year-old

A Joplin man charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old girl from Arkansas waived his right to a preliminary hearing this week in Jasper County Circuit Court.

James A. Morey, 33, was ordered bound over for trial by Associate Judge Richard Copeland. Morey is scheduled to make an initial appearance Jan. 28 in a trial division of the court.

Morey is accused of picking the girl up at her school in Pea Ridge, Ark., and taking her to his apartment at 926 N. Goetz Blvd. without her parents’ permission.

Court documents indicate that Morey told police he met the girl through Twitter, a social networking site on the Internet, and had corresponded with her about running away. The girl is believed to have come to Joplin with the defendant willingly, and there are no allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct on his part. But Missouri law holds that anyone under 14 years of age is incapable of consenting to confinement by anyone other than a parent or legal guardian.