LAMAR — Prosecutors have dismissed one of two charges filed against a former southwest Missouri jailer who was accused of having sexual contact with female inmates.

The Joplin Globe reports that the decision was made Tuesday after Barton County Prosecutor Michael Smalley talked to a woman who had showed up to testify at a preliminary hearing for 35-year-old Antonio Azua Jr., of Lamar. Smalley told the court that he was dismissing the count for lack of evidence.

But Smalley requested and obtained a continuance from the court of a preliminary hearing on the other count involving a second female inmate, who didn't show up at Tuesday's hearing.

The prosecutor indicated to the court that he has reason to believe he can still make that charge against Azua stand up.

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