Rapes being swept under the rug in small towns that are prideful of their high school football stars, is a disgusting trend that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. A devastating rape case in Maryville, MO (which is reminiscent of Steubenville, OH) is starting to pick up some national attention.
Local reports claim during the early morning hours of January 8, 2012, Matthew Barnett, a high school senior and football player forcibly had sex with 14-year-old cheerleader, Daisy Coleman (rape victims names are usually not revealed, but Daisy and her family want justice and therefore willingly share her identity). Another boy, one of the aggressor’s friends, had sex with one of Daisy’s 13-year-old friends. A third young man, Jordan Zech video-recorded the entire thing.
Barnett was arrested and charged with sexual assault, a felony and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, admitted to having sex with Daisy and to being aware that she had been drinking. He insisted the sex was consensual. Zech received a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.
And then two months later, the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped the felony cases against the teens. This would be a shocker, if this wasn’t already a trend.
Daisy and her 13-year-old friend were having a sleepover at Daisy’s house, reports say the two underage girls were sipping liquor from a secret stash Daisy hid in her closet. Daisy’s mom, Melinda checked in on the girls shortly after midnight. Daisy has been texting with Matthew throughout the night and by 1 a.m., Daisy and her friend were sneaking out of her bedroom window to meet up with Matt and his friends. Matt immediately offered the girls more liquor of which Daisy drank, after being told to.
After the boys had their way with the girls, Matthew drove them back to Daisy’s house, where the 13-year-old managed to make it inside the house. The boys told her they would watch over Daisy, but they dumped her semi-unconscious body on her frozen front yard in nothing but a T-shirt and sweatpants in 22-degree weather! Once Daisy’s mom was able to piece together the tragic scene of her daughter’s body lying almost lifeless on the lawn, she went to the authorities.
It turns out, Daisy’s rapist, Matthew, is not only a beloved football team member, but he’s the grandson of a longtime area political figure, Republican representative Rex Barnett. We guess that has a little something to do with the tight-knit town all of a sudden turning their backs on the victims. Capt. Phil Rickabaugh of the Maryville Fire Department seems to sum up the feelings of the entire town and said, “I guess they’re just going to have to get over it.”
Daisy and her family have since moved away from Maryville, but even if they wanted to return, they would have nowhere to go, as their home in Maryville has been burned down, no doubt by people from the town who believe Daisy and her family are to blame.
Daisy was basically taunted and dismissed after the incident. She was kicked off the cheerleading squad for her “role” in the attack and often teased, one student even wore a shirt to a dance competition that said, “Matt 1, Daisy O.” Daisy’s family members were also tormented. Reports show, that Daisy’s mom, Melinda lost her job at Maryville’s SouthPaws Veterinary Clinic. She also received calls that her children would be beaten up and that there would be a social media storm brewing against them.
The Twitter hashtag #jordanandmattarefree was created for the Maryville High School students to “celebrate” the charges against Matt and Jordan being dropped, despite their awful actions.