Anonymous, love ’em or hate ’em–and I am rather fond of them–get results. And yes, some Anons have gotten jail time for doing what they felt was right. Here’s what they’ve been doing for the past week and a half, and it has been completely legal and really right on.
On October 14, Anonymous launched a Twitter blast #Justice4Daisy to support and bring attention to the Maryville, Missouri rape of two girls, 13 and 14. Daisy Coleman, the 14 year old, has written eloquently about what happened to her when she and her friend snuck out of the house and drank with senior boys from her high school, one of whom had sex with her while she was unconscious as another boy videotaped it. Her 13 year old friend was also raped. Rape means someone sexed you without your consent. If you are drooling drunk or passed out you cannot give consent.
Daisy was dumped in front of her house in freezing weather. Three hours later her mother, hearing what she thought was a dog scratching at the front door, found her with ice chunks in her hair. Daisy was bruised and bleeding, and a trip to the hospital showed that she had been raped.
Her assailant, Matthew Barnett then 17, is the grandson of Rex Barnett, who served as member of the Missouri House of Representatives from 1994 to 2002. Barnett was initially charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, but two months later the charges were dropped. Jordan Zech, another senior, videotaped Barnett raping Daisy, and that video was passed around school. Zech was charged with exploitation of a minor. Those charges were dropped also and the video “disappeared.” One boy present that night was sentenced in juvenile court for his assault against Coleman’s then-13 year old friend.
The Nodaway County prosecutor dropped the felony cases against the youths, one the grandson of a longtime area political figure.
The incident sparked outrage in the community, though the worst of it was directed not at the accused perpetrators but at a victim and her family. In the months that followed, Coleman lost her job, and her children were routinely harassed. When it became too much, they left, retreating east to Albany [Missouri].
Daisy has attempted suicide and been hospitalized. Her mother lost her job, Daisy was harassed and bullied at school. The family’s house burned down.
But last week, two Missouri officials — Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and House Speaker Tim Jones — called for new investigations into the case (and one hopes, the cover-up).
At that time, Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice stated that the amount of evidence was inadequate to prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt, and that Daisy refused to cooperate. He posted similar coments on social media.
Melinda Coleman, Daisy’s mother, told CBS News’ Crimesider during a phone interview on Friday that the family never stopped cooperating. She said she only invoked her Fifth Amendment right after the felony charges were dropped in the case and after Rice and a rape advocate talked her into doing so.
She told Crimesider that Daisy was suicidal and in the hospital at the time she invoked her Fifth Amendment right and that she was told by both Rice and the advocate that even if she were to continue cooperating with the investigation, the only remaining charge was a misdemeanor and it would only serve as a “slap on the hand.”
She said there was never a deposition before the felony charges were dropped and that she believes the charges were dropped for “political” reasons.
Yesterday, October 21st, special prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was appointed to investigate the case.
The #Justice4Daisy rally will be broadcast live at 6pm CT on the Missouri Torch website.
Melinda Coleman, Daisy’s mom sent this message to attendees:
Maryville Police Department will be providing portable lighting, a podium, and portapotties for the #JusticeforDaisy rally. They are encouraging everyone to gather at the Northeast corner of the courthouse for the event. I will be putting out parking recommendations shortly but parking around the square will be prohibited. Look for updates to come and thanks for all everyone’s doing to help make this a peaceful demonstration.-Courtney Cole
Justice for Daisy Coleman Wants to remind everyone that it was the Nodaway County Sheriffs who botched the case, not the Maryville Police Department….
We would just like everyone to know that we Maryville is NOT a terrible town. We love so many people there and really were happy there until 1-9-12. Some families there are truly great friends!!! The school was incredible and tried so hard to protect my children…..above and beyond the call of duty…
A lot of people did support as much as they were able. To those people I am so grateful! And to the people who tried to defend us but were also terrorized and threatened……I’m sorry you suffered for us but I love you dearly for trying to help us. We wanted to stay in Maryville. We would have stayed if there was a fair investigation and I had felt my children could be safe. I left for fear for our safety from the family that thinks it’s a little mafia….their threats were very violent.
I would never condone an violent protest and all of the protestors have been asked to simple carry a daisy or daisies. A reporter told me innocent people in Maryville were being threatened. I checked in to that and found out that the only “threats” have been people sending daisies to the courthouse. I think that sounds nice and not very threatening. I do NOT condone violence in our defense. I don’t want others terrorized as we have been. I want everyone to have peace. I also believe that having only Matt Barnett’s mother speak at the press conferences after Sheriff White and Robert Rice, the Prosecuting attorney, clearly illustrates the connection of their family and the powers to be. It was a press release……not a pep rally.