An Internet backlash led by cries of "Justice for Daisy" has been unleashed against authorities in a small, idyllic Missouri town over how they handled what some are calling the brutal rape of a 14-year-old girl.
At the center of the story is a lengthy Kansas City Star investigation that details the political machinations behind the case
and how the girl and her family have been forced to move from their Maryville home.
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As the article notes, few dispute that a high school senior had sex with Daisy Coleman (the family has asked for her name to be released to help shed light on the case) on Jan. 8, 2012. Another boy had sex with Daisy’s 13-year-old friend. And a third student videotaped some of the scenes. Daisy was found by her mother, freezing on her front porch the next morning.
An investigation led to the felony arrests against the boys, one of whom is the grandson of what the Star called “a longtime area political figure.” That the suspect played on a venerated high school football team complicated matters.
When the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped charges, outrage ensued, but most of it aimed at Daisy’s family. Her mother lost her job, and her kids, the Star reported, were bullied. They finally fled the town.
“We demand an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy’s case,” read an anonymous post on Pastebin.com.
“Why was a suspect, who confessed to a crime, released with no charges? How was video and medical evidence not enough to put one of these football players inside a court room? What is the connection of these prosecutors, if any, to Rep. Rex Barnett? Most of all, We are wondering, how do the residents of Maryville sleep at night?”
Pastebin.com was just one venue for social networking outrage. A Justice for Daisy event has been posted on Facebook. Twitter also is ablaze with anger and rallying with the hashtag #Justice4Daisy.
The Maryville case is similar in many aspects to an infamous incident in Steubenville, Ohio, that involved players with a powerhouse football team. The incident there happened in August of 2012 when a high school girl who was incapacitated by alcohol was repeatedly raped. The assault was captured on videotape and posted on social media sites. Two high school football players were convicted in the case.
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