Quantcast

«

»

Oct 13 2013

Jocks will be jocks

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.

20 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Al Dente

    Barnett, coincidentally, is the grandson of a prominent former Missouri state representative.

    Just being a jock is probably enough to get him unprosecuted.

  2. 2
    MFHeadcase

    @ Al Dente,
    But being from a politically connected family certainly doesn’t hurt.

  3. 3
    Brony

    How is it possible that a prosecuting attorney can choose to drop charges “inexplicably”?

    How can a prosecuting attorney choose to drop charges in a manner like this? Aren’t there legally binding guidelines that determine how such things are done?

    We seriously need to write legal repercussions into our laws for leaders that do not do their jobs. I have always hated the elements of our system that don’t put our leaders in prison when they break the law or refuse to follow it, even if they are in office. It’s not that much of an inconvenience to the system. It’s certainly better than the American version of the French Revolution that a very primitive part of me wants right now.

  4. 4
    theoreticalgrrrl

    So, in the U.S.A., you can commit a felony, film it, and not be prosecuted. Not even for child pornography?

  5. 5
    grumpyoldfart

    Barnett, coincidentally, is the grandson of a prominent former Missouri state representative.

    Brony #3 asks: How is it possible that a prosecuting attorney can choose to drop charges “inexplicably”?

    Probably the former Missouri state rep showed the prosecuting attorney his shit file.

  6. 6
    theoreticalgrrrl

    I mean, at this point, anyone who denies that pro-rape culture exists is not unlike a Holocaust denier. I’m not kidding.

  7. 7
    Kate

    “…had sex with her…”

    Words cannot describe how much I despise that euphemism.

  8. 8
    Dunc

    … also made to have non-consensual sex …

    That’s a remarkable circumlocution to avoid using the neat little 4-letter word which specifically refers to this act. Bonus points for managing to use the passive voice at the same time.

  9. 9
    hyperdeath

    Dunc:

    …also made to have non-consensual sex…

    Bonus points for managing to use the passive voice at the same time.

    I didn’t notice the passive voice until you pointed it out, but that’s what makes it really creepy. It makes rape seem like a natural calamity, rather than something done by a perpetrator. While it probably wasn’t deliberate (the rest of the article seems reasonable) that kind of perpetrator de-emphasis is at the core of rape culture.

  10. 10
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    How is it possible that a prosecuting attorney can choose to drop charges “inexplicably”?

    Probably in the same manner in which they can choose to prosecute utter bullshit cases.

  11. 11
    khms

    Reading this, I’m so glad prosecutors, judges, and police are state (or federal) employees over here. Isn’t an absolute barrier for this kind of shit, but makes it much harder when they’re not working in their home town where they’re everybody’s buddy.

    Also, of course, that none of them get elected – it’s not a job you should play politics with.

    (And while I’m on that topic, same typically goes for teachers.)

  12. 12
    Dunc

    hyperdeath, #9:

    While it probably wasn’t deliberate

    That’s what’s so creepy about it. A professional writer (presumably with at least one editor) has somehow landed on the least clear and / or direct way of expressing the concept in question, and has almost certainly done it entirely unconsciously. In any other context, everybody involved would probably red-pen that weird construction for two separate failings, and yet, there it is…

  13. 13
    johnthedrunkard

    And Matthew Barnett, being a rich/white/politically ‘connected’/athlete, will be popular with women. Maybe Sarah Mayhew is looking for his number?

  14. 14
    MFHeadcase

    On the bright(ish?) side. Anon is now on the move.
    http://anonnewscenter.tumblr.com/post/64027921451/anonymous-opmaryville#_=_

  15. 15
    Erp

    I’m wondering if the use of non-consensual sex are people being careful to avoid a libel lawsuit (I note one comment on the linked to site said the “boys deserved an apology” so there are people out there who think it would be libel and we are talking about a family with some clout) since no one has been convicted of rape. Non-consensual sex is a not as strong as ‘rape’ but also isn’t a legal term for an offense (it is a legal term to help define an offense) but also clearly states what happened and can clearly be proven by the evidence in a libel court case (with the word ‘rape’ I suspect the other side would point out that the man had not been convicted of rape and so was not legally a rapist and hammer on that). “Non-consensual sex” is clearly better than “alleged rape”, the other way of sidestepping libel, since the latter implies that it possibly didn’t happen.

  16. 16
    Kate

    Frankly, “allegedly raped” would be an improvement. Does the media do the same pussyfooting bullshit with murder, for example? No.

  17. 17
    A. Noyd

    Kate (#16)

    Does the media do the same pussyfooting bullshit with murder, for example? No.

    What would that even be? “Non-consensual assisted suicide”?

  18. 18
    dannysichel

    Daily Kos covered this back in April ’12, and got a LOT more of the political details. Might be worth a look?

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/02/1080019/-the-GOP-crime-continues-in-northwest-Missouri#

  19. 19
    Ophelia Benson

    Wow. Yes. Lots of detailed background. Thanks.

  20. 20
    Kate

    A. Noyd: I was thinking euphemistic language like “caused to die” or “put to death” and maybe use of the passive voice. Shit you never see, basically; it’s “(allegedly) murdered” or “killed”, making things clear that these acts aren’t acceptable or lawful (I know people can kill in self-defense lawfully, but you catch my drift). Unlike “had sex with”.

  1. 21
    Matthew Barnett, sleazebag and rapist » Pharyngula

    […] (via Alyson Miers and Ophelia Benson) […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>