An incoherent Coleman, then 14, crawled to the front door of her family’s home in Maryville, Mo. It was a Sunday morning, Jan. 8, 2012, 5 a.m.
In a case that resembles several other high-profile sexual assault charges across the U.S., a 17-year-old Maryville High School senior, Matthew Barnett, was arrested for sexually assaulting Daisy Coleman, then leaving her propped up beside her family’s home. Another Maryville High senior, Jordan Zech, 17, was also charged in the case, accused of felony sexual exploitation of a minor because he videotaped Barnett and Daisy Coleman on an iPhone.
But the difference between this case and others – in particular the Stuebenville, Ohio, case in which two high school football players were convicted of raping and videotaping an incapacitated 16-year-old girl – Barnett and Zech are free today. In a move that shocked the town, Robert Rice, the Nodaway County prosecutor, dropped all charges two months after the alleged assault.
Daisy Coleman, now 16, has had a particularly tough time. The girl who used to be an athlete and dancer, who won local beauty pageants, is now cutting herself. And there have been several suicide attempts.
“I just felt like if I’m this ugly on the inside, I might as well look it on the outside,” she said. “You’re the s-word, you’re the w-word…b-word. Just, after a while, you start to believe it.”
The Colemans have moved out of Maryville and now live in a town nearly an hour away.
Source: Kansas City Public Media