Here we go again. High school football players. Important relatives. Small town. Party, alcohol, rape…and it’s the girl and her family who are punished.
The Kansas City Star details how the small town of Maryville turned against a newly-arrived family after 14-year-old Daisy Coleman reported that an older athlete had sex with her while another older male videotaped, after she was given an alcoholic drink at a party that left her barely able to stand. Her friend, a 13-year-old, was also made to have non-consensual sex.
After a thorough investigation by the local police however, clearly implicating 17-year-old Matthew Barnett in the sexual assault, charges were inexplicably dropped by the prosecuting attorney. Barnett, coincidentally, is the grandson of a prominent former Missouri state representative.
Coincidentally? Or very much to the pointly?
After the charges were dropped, things just got worse for Melinda and Daisy Coleman. Daisy has struggled with depression and attempted suicide. Melinda had to move away from Maryville and back to the town she had lived in with her now-deceased husband. In April, the house in Maryville she still owned burned down under mysterious circumstances.And Matthew Barnett, the young man accused by Coleman of raping her? He’s attending the University of Central Missouri and apparently having a great time:
In a recent retweet, he expressed his views on women — and their desire for his sexual attentions — this way:
“If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D.”
Maybe we should just rename the whole damn country Steubenville.
Update: much useful background detail from April 2012. H/t Danny Sichel.