Daisy Coleman was sexually assaulted at a party in Maryville, Missouri, a police report said.
But despite having a suspect in 17-year-old football player Matthew Barnett, who admitted to police that he had sex with the “incoherent” 14-year-old, the case never went to court.
Anonymous wants to change that.
The hactivist group that has taken up the cause, hoping to replicate the attention that it brought to a rape case with similar circumstances in Steubenville, Ohio. In that case, two local football players were accused, and eventually convicted, of raping a drunken girl at a party.
The case appeared to have gone cold, but members of Anonymous uncovered a series of social media posts and even videos of the incident, including one in which a fellow athlete made fun of the girl who was reportedly being raped in a nearby room, saying she was “dead.”
Anonymous is now turning up the heat on Maryville, calling for officials to re-open the Daisy Coleman rape case.
“There’s a multitude of anons and angry people alike planning a course of action as we speak for Maryville,” said Deric Lostutter, known online as RealKYAnonymous, who played a key role in releasing documents in the Steubenville rape case. “We are watching. Always.”
Anonymous threatened that if there is not “an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy’s case,” the group will stand up for the victims. Another girl, an underage friend of Coleman, was also allegedly sexually assaulted, and at least part of the encounter was videotaped.
The story has become an indictment against investigators and residents in Maryville. Police found that Coleman’s blood-alcohol level was still 0.13 a full seven hours after her last drink, and she was found abandoned in the front yard of her home in temperatures that dipped below freezing.
Police charged Barnett with felony sexual assault and a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment, but they were dropped by Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice, who claimed there was no proof of the crimes.
Meanwhile, students at school turned on Daisy Coleman, bullying her so badly that she attempted suicide and was sent to live at a home for troubled teens. Her mother also lost her job, and in a bid to escape the situation moved the family 40 miles away. But it did not ease tensions around the case, and their family house was burned to the ground.
Anonymous has been active in the case, using its main Twitter account YourAnonNews to ratchet up the pressure on Maryville officials. Members hope they can do for Daisy Coleman what they achieved in Steubenville, where the national attention they gave the case that ended with convictions for two of the athletes with the promise of more indictments to come.