Charges against Leon Copeland dismissed

Charges against a Jefferson City man accused of kidnapping and raping a Gasconade County teenager last year have been dismissed.

Leon Copeland, 30, 1606 E. Miller St., had been indicted on a first-degree statutory rape charge by the Cole County Grand Jury in March.

“After communications from the victim and some of her family members, and giving consideration to the requests contained therein, the case was appropriately dismissed,” Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson said.

Copeland was charged in December 2012 with kidnapping in Gasconade County. That case was dismissed in Gasconade County Tuesday.

Copeland began exchanging text messages with the teenager two days before Christmas 2012.

He said he thought she was 16. The 13-year-old told Copeland she was 19.

Officials said their conversations became sexual in nature, and then they met and had physical contact.

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