NEOSHO, Mo. — A man from Goodman waived a preliminary hearing Monday on charges that he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl.
Michael D. Cooper, 26, waived the hearing in Newton County Circuit Court and was ordered to stand trial on charges of first-degree statutory rape and statutory sodomy with a child younger than 14. Associate Judge Christine Rhoades set the defendant's initial appearance in a trial division of the court for May 20.
Cooper was charged with the offenses Jan. 7 following an investigation by the Newton County Sheriff's Department.
A probable-cause affidavit states that the girl disclosed in an interview Dec. 5 at the Children's Center in Joplin that Cooper touched her inappropriately and raped her on or about Nov. 26. The girl told investigators that she was asleep on a floor of a residence when he entered the room and sexually assaulted her.
According to the affidavit, Cooper denied the girl's allegations when questioned by an investigator with the sheriff's office.