Jefferson City man charged with raping teen

A Jefferson City man who was already charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old girl in Gasconade County in December is now facing a charge of first-degree statutory rape in Cole County for the same incident.

Leon Copeland, 30, of 1606 E. Miller St., was charged Thursday.

A Jefferson City Police Department probable cause statement shows Copeland began exchanging text messages with the teenager two days before Christmas.

He said he thought she was 16. The 13-year-old told Copeland she was 19, and their conversations became sexual in nature.

The teen sent Copeland a picture, and they continued to text.

Copeland admitted to talking with her about meeting and having sex. She asked Copeland to drive to Rosebud in Gasconade County to meet.

Copeland did so and the two met.

They began to talk and eventually she got into his vehicle and they started driving.

Copeland took the teen to his house in Jefferson City, and they watched TV.

Copeland said he and the teenager kissed a little and then had sex.

After having sex, Copeland said he drove her back to Gasconade County, dropping her off in the middle of a highway a couple miles from Rosebud.

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