Maryville, Mo Rape Case Receives Special Prosecutor

By: Brian Powell - October 17, 2013

On January 8, 2012, 14 year old Daisy Coleman and her 13 year old friend, Paige Parkhurst, snuck out Daisy’s home, after consuming stolen alcohol, and went to a party thrown by high school football players. At said party, both Coleman and Parkhurst were given more alcohol to drink, and then were raped by two older football players. A third boy filmed the incident.

Following the sexual assault, the boys took Coleman and her friend and dumped them off at Coleman’s house. Coleman, still semi-conscious due to the high amounts of alcohol in her system, languished outside her home all night in 22 degree weather. She was discovered by her mother the next morning, clawing at the front door to get in. Upon taking both Coleman and Parkhurst to the hospital, it was discovered that both girls had indeed been raped, and Coleman’s alcohol level was at 0.13, 7 hours after the incident occurred.

That morning, the county’s sheriff’s department received warrants for the arrest of the three teens and the boys, along with much evidence, were apprehended.

However, despite the convincing details of the story and admittance of the teen that he and Coleman had indeed had sex, the charges were dropped by the County Prosecutor, Robert Rice. Rice stated, “there was insufficient evidence to prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt.The State’s witnesses refused to cooperate and invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege to not testify.”

Nodaway County Sheriff, Darren White, corroborates Rice’s statement: “They wouldn’t cooperate and then they said they would cooperate. And then they wouldn’t cooperate. And then they went back and forth.” White added that, “The only people’s stories that have been inconsistent throughout this whole thing are the Colemans’ — are the victims in this case — and I don’t know why that is.”

Despite Rice’s and White’s statements that the Coleman’s refused to cooperate, Daisy’s mother insists that they did everything they could to further the investigation: “How do you think we didn’t want to cooperate? We went to get a rape kit done. I wrote a statement, and my daughter gave a statement to the police.”

The case was dropped in March 2012, but a recent story ran by the Kansas City Star over the weekend drew national attention to the issue. Not only have social media outlets taken up the mantle for ensuring justice, but Anonymous has entered the ring as well.

Anonymous is a loosely-organized internet-based hacktivist group known for “defending the defenseless”. Anonymous does not typically associate itself with rape cases, but once injustice receives enough national attention, the group has a tendency to exert its influence (Also, it doesn’t hurt that they were called out in a tweet which stated, “This is what happens when Anonymous doesn’t get involved in a rape case,” with a link to the Kansas City Star article.)

Tuesday, Anonymous sent a message to the town of Maryville, Mo:

“We demand an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy’s case. We have heard Daisy’s story far too often. We heard it from Steubenville, Halifax and Uttar Pradesh. … 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.”

Following pressure from the Kansas City Star article and Anonymous, County Prosecutor Robert Rice called for a special prosecutor to take a look at the case: “The public trust in our criminal justice system must be upheld at all times. My name was dragged through the mud in that [Kansas City Star] article, and I don’t appreciate that. The way the article was written inflamed passions.”

If inflamed passions is what it takes to force Rice to reopen a prematurely-closed case, then inflamed passions must be created. While the Coleman family must be ecstatic that the case is being looked at once again, their main objective is not to seek punitive justice: “I think just having it looked at fairly and having other people know how much we were bullied goes a long way. Even if that’s all that ever comes out of it. That may be enough to move on and have some peace and some security,” stated Daisy’s mother.

At the end of the day, however one views the case, all the frustration and confusion seems to be due to a breakdown of effective communication. Both Rice and White state that the Coleman’s were uncooperative with the investigation, while the Colemans state that they don’t know what else Rice and prosecutors wanted them to do. This case exemplifies why proper communication and dissemination of ideas and information is becoming increasingly vital in a state with ever-escalating amounts of bureaucracy and red-tape.

Image via Facebook

Brian Powell

About the Author

Brian PowellBrian Powell is a contract writer for WebProNews. In his day job, he is a teacher and tutor for The Princeton Review. He also serves as an assistant coach to Transylvania University's Speech and Debate team.

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  • Well

    Not sure what to make of this case. The girls snuck out of their house, got alcohol, went to the party, and got drunk. Who is to say they didn’t consent to the sex? Sex nowadays for teenagers is like holding hands. It isn’t like when I was growing up and sex meant something really special. I mean do we really believe that our teenagers nowadays don’t consent to sex? If the girls had sex the night before and go to the hospital, of course there is going to be evidence of sex. I just don’t know nowadays. Seems like there is an epidemic of teenagers getting drunk and having sex and then someone accuses someone of rape.

    I am all for girls being protected but I am also for guys being protected to. Believe it or not girls lie and do horrible things too. We had a case recently in our area where two girls accussed three guys of raping them after they went to a party. The three guys took lie detector tests and all passed. The girls refused to take the tests. If it hadn’t been for those lie detectors test, the three guys would have been sent to prison for 20-30 years each because everyone just takes the word of girls. Everyone wanted to hang the guys based upon on what the girls said, but after the girls refused to take a lie detector tests everyone was shocked at the fact they were ready to condemn a bunch of teenage guys.

    The world has changed so much. It isn’t like when I was growing up in the 80s and early 90s. Something has really changed with our kids. When I say that to today’s teenagers, sex is like holding hands, I mean it. It means nothing to them.

    Here is my advice to everyone. Young or old. Don’t drink. Find one person you love and trust and hang out with them. Skip drinking and partying. Believe me, in the long run you are going to be safer. It is dangerous out there for both women and men.

    • Sunshine

      You raise a good point, and I agree that there needs to be impartial investigation. More than that, there needs to be investigation into the original dismissal of charges. Because according to the facts as reported, there’s no reason to dismiss them.

      First, the girl states that she was drugged to incapacity, and there’s medical evidence backing her up. The alleged video on the iPhone could disprove this, which is why that iPhone needs to be taken and entered as evidence, the video may still be salvageable. As there is evidence supporting the ‘she said’ side of this question, the boy needs to provide evidence on the ‘he said’ side.

      Second, the boy says the sex was consensual and the girl says it was rape. While this can be explained by differing standards of consent (I know of one case where a girl said it wasn’t rape because he didn’t say “no” and the boy said it was because he didn’t say “yes”), the witness here states that the girl was not capable of enforcing a ‘no’ and was very unhappy immediately afterwards, neither of which is supportive of the boy’s declaration of mutual consent but is supportive of her position. Again, the boy needs that iPhone video to surface to back him up.

      Thirdly, the boy knew she was incapable of moving and then left her in an exposed position, outdoors, inadequately dressed, in weather that he knew people had died in. He has admitted to this. To me, this is the tipping point, because with the rest it was possible (unlikely, but possible) he was just being a thoughtless egotistical kid but this is genuine endangerment and intent to cause harm. Which you don’t do for kicks but you do do to hide crimes. So this bit makes me think that the rest of her story is true. Because if he genuinely thought she was into it, he’d make sure she was okay after, not put her into a situation that would guarantee she wasn’t.

      I welcome an impartial investigation and I hope that iPhone video comes to light. I agree that we’re only hearing one side. We need the other.

  • http://yahoo jimmie roan

    what a slimy bunch of scum you people are for condoning the rape of underage girls, I don’t know old you are or how you were raised but you definitely need help. consented, they are not old enough to consent, is a 6yr old old enough, 13 and 14 yr olds are in the same class, and even if the law allowed them to consent even an adult can’t consent if they are that drunk, you have to be in control of you senses to consent, I would really like to find out that you were taken advantage of after you wrote this stupidity. and by the way, just because you try to detail different scenario’s of if that and maybe that, it does not change anything, you don’t sound smart, you sound pitiful.