MARYVILLE, Mo. — Jean Peters Baker was appointed the special prosecutor to look into the case of Daisy Coleman, the Maryville teenager who says she was given alcohol and then raped by a popular high school football player in January 2012.
In a statement to reporters, Baker promised to look at the case that has attracted international attention “without fear and without favor,” explaining that she will be directly involved in the review. “Politics, connections or any other reason you can think of, will not play a role in our review of this case. It will be the evidence.”
Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor Wednesday as a response to the controversy surrounding the case after the Kansas City Star ran an investigative article on the front page Oct. 13 that led to the involvement of the activist hacker group Anonymous and outrage across social media.
Although felony charges were filed almost immediately in 2012 against Matthew Barnett for sexual assault and Jordan Zech for sexual exploitation of a minor (for videotaping), they were later dropped by Rice, who said Daisy and her mother, Melinda Coleman, failed to cooperate with the investigation.
The Colemans vehemently deny that, instead blaming the political connections of Barnett; his grandfather, Rex, a retired Missouri state highway patrolman, served four terms in the Missouri state legislature from 1994 to 2002.
Baker, the special prosecutor, is a Democrat (and was appointed by 4th Circuit Associate Judge Glen Dietrich, also a Democrat). Rex Barnett is a Republican, as is Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice.
Baker cautioned that her review of the case will take time and she does not plan to comment to the media during the process.
Source: Washington Post