The short version of a very long story...
Thanks to the Kansas City Star and Dugan Arnett's quality digging over the weekend, the Missouri town of Maryville is now getting hammered for its lack of impact in a sexual assault case involving a 14-year-old girl.
Almost two years ago, Daisy Coleman (and the HQ is only using the name because the family has released it and are doing interviews) was at a party that had older MHS football players there as well.
17-year-old Matthew Barnett gave Coleman a "drink" made up of a clear liquid and they had sex. Barnett claims it was consensual. Coleman and a friend (who also had sex at the party, but says she told the male "no") were then taken home, but instead of letting Coleman sober up, she was dumped in her front yard- in January, in Missouri...
Barnett was charged as an adult for sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Daisy's mom, Melinda, was fired from her job. Daisy went into depression including multiple failed suicide attempts. The Colemans moved back to their home town, and the Maryville home they lived in burnt to the ground.
No one knows how the home burned to the ground or why Melinda was fired, but folks think it's all related to the court case.
And... and this is a big "and..."
The charges against the boy who taped the sex Coleman had with Barnett were dropped by the local prosecutor. Robert Rice says there wasn't enough evidence.
State lawmakers are looking for answers, but is it too late...???
And, now that Anonymous has their hands on it, Maryville is on a very long road until a "satisfactory" result can be found for the Coleman family...
"If Maryville won't defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them," Anonymous said in a statement. "Mayor Jim Fall, your hands are dirty. Maryville, expect us."
Dan Wetzel has a must read on the analysis over at Yahoo!Sports and the HQ thinks this is another case of small towns where the influential can get things "taken care of..."
It's not the first, but it won't be the last either...
PM UPDATE: The Kansas City Star's Arnett and Helling have updated the matter that now Rice says that he’s asked a judge to appoint a special prosecutor who can determine whether any charges should be filed in the case.
From Arnett and Helling:
(Rice)said he decided to ask for the special prosecutor after witnesses in the case said they would cooperate with the investigation.
Earlier, Rice said, that was not the case. He said the alleged victim had invoked her right against self-incrimination during his investigation, shutting off the possibility of a prosecution.
Rice’s account differs from that of Melinda Coleman, mother of the alleged victim, who has contended that she had willingly cooperated in the case until Rice dropped the two most serious felony charges in March 2012, two months after he’d filed them.
Of course, Rice held this press conference... here's part one thanks to KCTV
And here's an interview that CNN held with the Colemans before the presser...