On Wednesday afternoon, Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice requested the court appoint a special attorney to review the sexual assault case that occurred in Maryville, Mo., in January 2012, KSHB-TV reports.
A 17-year-old Maryville football player was charged with rape after the teen had sex with a 14-year-old at a party held at the home of Maryville football player Matthew Barnett. Another boy was also accused of videotaping the incident. But authorities were unable to find a video linking him to the assault, so the charges against him as well as a third boy involved were dropped.
Two weeks after being charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, though, the charges against the 17-year-old were also dropped. Daisy Coleman, now 15, and second victim Paige Parkhurst, now 14 -- have since stepped forward in order to encourage other sexual assault victims to speak out. And Melinda Coleman, Daisy Coleman’s mother, believes the charges against the boy were dropped based on political reasons.
On Tuesday, two Missouri officials -- Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and House Speaker Tim Jones -- called for new investigations into the sexual assault case. At that time, Rice stated that the amount of evidence was inadequate “to prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The state’s witnesses refused to cooperate,” and he added that they “invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege to not testify.” But the AP reports that Melinda Coleman says she and her family cooperated with investigators and that any accusation that they refused to testify is untrue.
The Kansas City Star broke the news story, which detailed that Daisy and Paige were served alcohol and raped at the home by two high school football players. Following the assault, an unconscious Daisy was then driven back to her home and dropped on her front yard -- without shoes or a coat -- in freezing temperatures. Daisy wasn’t discovered by her mother until more than three hours later.
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The case has since caused a media firestorm, with numerous social groups and organizations protesting the dropped charges against the alleged rapists. It has gained so much attention that the group Anonymous has scheduled a protests in Maryville in support of Daisy on Oct. 22.