NEOSHO, Mo. — The Newton County prosecutor’s office has dismissed sexual assault and kidnapping charges that a 27-year-old man was facing in connection with an incident in August at a Joplin motel involving a woman who now maintains that she and the defendant were pursuing a mutual interest in bondage, domination and sadomasochism.

Assistant Prosecutor James Colston said he was forced to dismiss charges against Caleb S. Warner, 27, when the alleged victim failed to show up to testify against him at a preliminary hearing Monday in Newton County Circuit Court.

Warner was charged with first-degree sodomy and first-degree kidnapping following his arrest Aug. 23 at the Sunrise Inn, 3600 S. Range Line Road. Police reported that officers responded to a call from a motel employee concerning suspicious activity involving a couple in one of the guest rooms.

Officers contacted a 28-year-old woman from Neosho who told them that Warner had gotten angry with her five days previously and tied her up and forced sexual acts on her, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed with the charges. She alleged that on the date in question, he again tried to sodomize her and struck her several times before she was able to escape, according to the affidavit.

Colston said the woman showed up at the defendant’s arraignment a few days later, claiming that everything that happened had been consensual and was part of their mutual interest in BDSM and asking that the charges be dropped. The assistant prosecutor said he refused to dismiss charges at that time but was given little choice when she failed to show up to testify at Warner’s scheduled preliminary hearing on Monday.

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