As fury grows around the controversial Maryville, Mo., sexual assault case, more details continue to emerge about the circumstances surrounding the incident that occurred in January of last year.
As we reported earlier, Matthew Barnett, then 18, was accused of raping then 14-year-old Daisy Coleman on January 7, 2012, at a party being held in the basement of his home. The Maryville High School football player -- who was a senior at the time – brought Coleman and her 13-year-old friend to his home, where Coleman says she was raped after she blacked out from drinking alcohol. Coleman's friend Paige Parkhurst -- who recently revealed her identity -- says she was also raped at the party by a 15-year-old boy at the party. That boy was sentenced in juvenile court for his assault against Parkhurst.
Barnett, now 19, was initially charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. But after just two months, the charges were dropped. Since then, Coleman, now 16 and Parkhurst, now 15, have stepped forward, shining new light on the sexual assault case that has outraged many across the nation. Below are a few facts you should know about Matthew Barnett and his role in the case that Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice announced on Wednesday would be reopened for a special prosecutor to review.
1. He Attends The University Of Central Missouri
Barnett is currently a student at the University of Central Missouri. The school has received a strong backlash as people learn more about the case and the charges that were dropped against Barnett, reports the Epoch Times. Numerous people have taken to social media to voice their disappointment with the school's response.
@UCentralMO Shame on you for canned response to serious questions about who you admit to your school. I would pull my daughter out ASAP
â€” Pam Mason (@pmason03) October 14, 2013
2. He Is The Grandson Of A Former Missouri Representative
Barnett’s grandfather is Rex Barnett, previously a longtime member of the Missouri House of Representatives, serving from 1994 to 2002.
3. Victim Daisy Coleman Says Barnett Gave Her Alcohol At The Party
According to Coleman, Barnett gave her a large glass of alcohol once she arrived at the get-together held at his home, reports the Kansas City Star. Maryville High School's top wrestler, Jordan Zech, another senior, a 15-year-old Coleman knew previously, and a third junior football player were also at the party. Daisy told police that he forced her to have sex after she blacked out from a second glass of alcohol she was encouraged to drink by the boys.
4. He Told Authorities That The Sex Was Consensual
When being questioned about the incident by police, Barnett admitted that he had sex with Daisy. But he said it was consensual. He also admitted that he knew she had been drinking the night of the party.
5. Daisy Coleman’s Brother Was Once Friends With Barnett
Charlie Coleman, Daisy Coleman’s oldest brother, had been a friend of Barnett's before the attack occurred. Daisy met Barnett through Charlie, and the boys were teammates on the Maryville High football team.
6. Barnett and Daisy Exchanged Text Messages
Barnett and Coleman began texting each other soon after she arrived at Maryville High School. But according to her mother, Melinda Coleman, Daisy was not interested in Barnett romantically. And her brother Charlie says he told his sister to stop communicating with Barnett once he discovered the two were texting. “I told her to stay clear of that kid,” Charlie told the Kansas City Star. “But honestly, what teenage kid wants to (listen to) her older brother?”
7. Barnett’s Parents Claim Their Son Is Innocent
During an interview with the MailOnline, school teacher Shirley Barnett supported her son, saying he is innocent and the truth will eventually come to light. “The more you dig, you will get closer to the truth. It is not on the surface, you’re going to have to dig for it, and unfortunately we can’t help with that because that is not our personality.” And his father Tommy Barnett added that his son is being unfairly targeted. “There are hundreds of cases across the nation. My kid is being assassinated. The way this has all been spun, for example, my son being a football star, he was not a football star, he was a back-up.”