NEOSHO, Mo. — A rural Neosho man waived a preliminary hearing Monday on a charge that he raped a girl under 14 years old.

Mark A. Burgess, 39, waived the hearing in Newton County Circuit Court on a count of first-degree statutory rape and was ordered to stand trial. Associate Judge Christine Rhoades set the defendant's initial appearance in a trial division of the court for Sept. 8.

A probable-cause affidavit states that a 13-year-old girl disclosed to child abuse investigators during an interview in June 2019 that Burgess sexually abused her. She said the first time he did it was when she was 6 years old and most recently in early 2018, according to the affidavit.

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Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.