Outting bullies, Supporting Victims, and Serious News Stories all in one

Posts tagged ‘Matthew Barnett’

#Justice4daisy Daisy Coleman Suspect Not Charged With Sexual Assault

Pic via Facebook

Pic via Facebook

Matthew Barnett and his friend Jordan Zech allegedly gave Daisy Coleman (age 14)  and Paige Parkhurst (age 13) alcohol and raped them  in his home then dumped Daisy on her front lawn in the freezing cold in January of 2012. Daisy and her mom went to the police, but for what people believe is political pressure from Matt’s well-connected family, the charges were dropped. The prosecutor of Nodaway County claims Daisy and her mom refused to cooperate with the investigation and they were “going to take the 5th.” Melinda Coleman calls this a lie.

In October, Daisy and her mom went to the media and told her story. It started with The Kansas City Star and quickly spread everywhere. (Paige and her mom went to the media a few days later) International media camped out in the small town of Maryville. The Nodaway County Prosecutor, Robert Rice, announced in a press conference an independent party has been asked to re-investigate this case. The same week there was a big rally in Maryville demanding justice for these two young victims.

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Maryville, Mo Attacked In Social Media-Response To Daisy Coleman Case #opmaryville #justice4daisy

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Disclaimer-I didn’t write this. This was in the Washington Post and thought it would be an interesting perspective.

MARYVILLE, Mo. — My hometown is not the villain. Maryville has made headlines around the world since the front-page story of the Oct. 13 Kansas City Star describing how Daisy Coleman and her friend sneaked alcohol that January 2012 night at a sleepover, then ended up at the home of popular senior Matthew Barnett, drinking even more. That’s when things turned ugly. Really ugly. There are allegations that the 13-year-old was raped by a 15-year-old; that case went to juvenile court and the results are sealed. Daisy says Barnett raped her while his friend, Jordan Zech, videotaped part of the assault on a cellphone. Barnett has denied the accusations; he admits sex with Daisy, but say it was consensual.

Afterward, Daisy was left on the front porch in freezing temperatures, wearing just a t-shirt and sweatpants, her hair frozen by the time she was discovered by her mother. Felony charges were filed against the boys, and then dropped. A special prosecutor out of Kansas City is now looking at the case.

What has surprised me — and maybe it shouldn’t — is the level of hatred and vitriol directed toward not just the alleged rapists and the prosecutor who dropped the charges but everyone in Maryville. There’s almost a lynch mob mentality in the comments on social media. My hometown has been vilified as “a lawless hellhole” and its citizens “the scum of the earth.” One person commenting on Reddit said he hoped an F5 tornado would destroy the entire town and everyone in it. On Facebook, another poster wanted to “NUKE” the town; that sentiment was echoed by a St. Louis radio talk-show host.

Like the old-fashioned game of Telephone, mistakes and rumors have sprouted like mushrooms during a Missouri spring. Among
them: The girls were raped by “several” boys and left for dead; the Colemans’ house burned to the ground while they escaped with their lives (the house was vacant and no cause for the fire has been determined); Matthew Barnett’s grandfather, Rex Barnett, was a state senator and in charge of the committee that funded the sheriff’s office (he was in the state legislature from 1994 to 2002).

The entire population of Maryville —some 12,000 people, plus the 7,000 college students at Northwest Missouri State University — did not rape Daisy Coleman, nor did all of them participate in the the bullying,the name-calling or the threats afterward. Not everyone in town even knows each other.

We’re not talking about some bucolic version of Mayberry in the 21st century here. Sure, Maryville is small when compared to Kansas City or Chicago, but it’s the largest community in a nine-county area in northwest Missouri and is surrounded by even smaller towns with anywhere from 50 to 500 people.

Plenty of “outsiders” move here; Mayor Jim Fall originally hails from Albany, Mo., the same town that the Colemans left. Of course the superintendent of the local school system, Larry Linthacum, would be expected to play cheerleader to the town, but he did point out the community’s social diversity. “There’s a great mix of people associated with the college, with manufacturing and with agriculture in a rural setting,” he said. “It’s a unique combination.”

It’s not some haven for inbred rednecks, as some of the media suggest.

But the hacker activist group Anonymous declared war not on the alleged rapists or the prosecutor, but on the town of Maryville, issuing a press release, “If Maryville won’t defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them. Mayor Jim Fall, your hands are dirty. Maryville, expect us.”

Fall told me he’s received at least 300threatening e-mails since then. “I was surprised at the tone of the emails —the language and vulgarity,” he said. “They would write how can you ever sleep at night or may your soul burn In everlasting hell — except laced with four-letter words and expletives.”

Technically, it wasn’t even Maryville but Nodaway County that failed when it comes to legalities. Because the Coleman home is outside of the city limits, it was the county sheriff’s office that conducted the criminal investigation.

It was Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice who charged Matthew
Barnett with felony sexual assault and Jordan Zech with sexual
exploitation (for videotaping) and then dropped the charges in March
because, he said, the Colemans failed to cooperate, while Melinda Coleman blames the influence of the Barnett family.

By Oct. 16, just three days after the story in the Star, Rice called for the
appointment of a special prosecutor, saying he realized the Colemans would cooperate after seeing their comments on a television interview. Still, the attacks have continued. The Nodaway County government Web
site was shut down as a precautionary measure. Although the Maryville city site remained online, some information was removed, Fall said.

The Colemans, mother and daughter, have appeared on CNN each evening to discuss aspects of the case. They were eventually joined by the previously unidentified friend, Paige Parkhurst. (Although the Washington Post does not usually identify victims of rape, in this case both young women have gone public.)

A protest demanding “Justice for Daisy,” organized by Kansas City women’s activist Courtney Cole, was planned for Oct. 22 in the courthouse square. Anonymous joined forces with Cole in support of the demonstration.

Monday brought the announcement of the special prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, who serves as prosecutor for Jackson County, which includes Kansas City, Mo. That news didn’t cancel the demonstration, however. Instead, Cole shifted the focus to support Daisy and Paige and all victims of sexual abuse.

Up to 500 people attended the rally, far fewer than the expected 2,000. The speakers — who were nearly drowned out by a hovering helicopter from the highway patrol — talked more about “rape culture” than the stories of Daisy and Paige. But the gathering remained peaceful. There was no violence. There was no riot. There wasn’t even a counter-protest, although a separate area had been cordoned off. Every officer and deputy from Maryville Public Safety, the campus police force and the Sheriff’s office were on duty that night, along with 20 Missouri State Highway Patrol.Troopers.

Anonymous showed up as well. Some of them refused to speak, but a couple were interviewed on camera. I talked with one who said he was there for “justice.”

After the rally, the media finally left the city. Fall said his daughter told him Wednesday she noticed on one news site that the Maryville rape story was trending three places below an article on what’s happened to the cast members of the Roseanne television show.

Meanwhile, Maryville struggles to get back to normal. I asked Fall about the impact on the city. He sighed before answering. “I don’t have any idea how to quantify it or measure the quality or the extent of the damage….Time will tell.”

Maryville Daily Forum news editor Tony Brown summed up the situation: “…stories like this never quite go away, and in some ways
Maryville will probably never be quite the same place. Lives have been changed, and when that happens towns change too.”

—-Written By: Diana Reese—–

Washington Post

Accused Teen Rapists Mom: “He’s Having Some Major Issues” #opmaryville #justice4daisy

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The mother of an ex-football player accused of raping a teen in a case that’s attracted international attention said her son is being “assassinated.”

Matthew Barnett, now 19, was charged in January 2012 in connection with the alleged rape of 14-year-old Daisy Coleman, but the prosecuting attorney later dropped felony charges against him and a 17-year-old friend, Jordan Zech, who was accused of recording the encounter on cell phone video.

Barnett’s parents told The Daily Mail their son had been harassed at the University of Missouri after the hacktivist group Anonymous had revealed his name and posted his photo online as it pressured local authorities to reopen the investigation.

“He’s having some major issues,” said Shirley Barnett, a teacher. “Is Matthew OK? How can you go through this and be OK? You can’t go through this experience and be OK. You can’t have your picture plastered all over the world news and be portrayed as something when you know in your heart what happened and be OK. How can anybody in our family be OK over this?”

Nodaway Prosecutor Robert Rice agreed Thursday to ask a judge to appoint a special prosecutor in the case after Missouri’s lieutenant governor and House Speaker got involved.

Rice defended his decision to drop the charges, saying Coleman and a 13-year-old friend who said she was raped by a 15-year-old boy declined to testify.

But Coleman’s mother said Rice pressured her daughter into invoking her Fifth Amendment rights not to testify.

Barnett’s mother said the media had chosen sides in the case after Coleman and her mother came forward to discuss it in a Kansas City Star report published Sunday.

“This whole thing is one-sided because that is the way they have chosen it to be,” Shirley Barnett said.

Coleman admits that she and a friend had been drinking the night of Jan. 8, 2012, before meeting up with Barnett, Zech and a juvenile, with whom they continued drinking until she blacked out.

And investigators said Barnett admitted to having sex with the girl, although he said the act was consensual.

Coleman was found the following morning partially clothed on the front lawn of her family’s home in freezing cold weather.

Rice said the cell phone video of the encounter was deleted and could not be retrieved by crime lab investigators, and he said the most serious charges were dropped because his office didn’t have enough evidence to convict without the girls’ testimony.

Shirley Barnett claimed there was information that would prove her son’s version of events, but she declined to be specific.

“The more you dig, you will get closer to the truth,” she said. “It is not on the surface, you’re going to have to dig for it, unfortunately, we can’t help with that because that is not our personality.”

Shirley Barnett said her son and others from Maryville had been threatened online and required protection.

“I am here to talk about the people of this town that have been threatened, that do not feel safe to come to their jobs, they don’t feel safe to go to school, there’s campuses across the state where students are having to be walked to class and having to be escorted because of their safety,” Shirley Barnett said. “That needs to stop. It’s not fair to those people. They have no relationship whatsoever to this case; they have no knowledge of the case, but because they’re from a small town, they’re being threatened, and that needs to stop.”

Coleman also claimed she was threatened after the boys were charged, and the harassment continued even after the felony charges were dropped.

Her mother said some girls started an online campaign urging the teen to take her own life.

Coleman’s family eventually moved from Maryville, and their house burned to the ground due to undetermined causes while they tried to sell it.

Watch this video interview with Shirley Barnett posted on The Herald Sun:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/mother-and-father-of-matthew-barnett-lash-out-over-maryville-rape-claims-against-daisy-paige/story-fni0xs61-1226742203542

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/18/accused-teen-rapists-mom-says-son-threatened-hes-having-some-major-issues/

 

Daisy’s Story- In Her Own Words #opmaryville #justice4daisy

I’M DAISY COLEMAN, THE TEENAGER AT THE CENTER OF THE MARYVILLE RAPE MEDIA STORM, AND THIS IS WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

You may have heard my story, thanks to Anonymous who trended #justice4daisy. I’m not done fighting yet.

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Winter: cold, bleak, bitter, ugly. Almost like summer has taken off its mask and shown its true colors. Everyone is forced to see how ugly life can truly be. Others get a season of beauty: summer.

My whole life since January 8, 2012, has been a long, reckless winter.

The night everything changed I was having an old friend over to catch up and have fun. Her name is Paige, and she is a year younger than I am. At the time, she was 13, and I was 14.

We had been best friends since we were both very young, and continued to be best friends, even though I had moved from Albany to Maryville. She was in the eighth grade, and I was in the midst of my freshman year.

Life, overall, was great.

I was on the varsity cheer squad, a competitive dance team and had a lot of friends.

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Paige is my best friend. Watching scary movies was always our thing. So, that’s how we kicked off our night, along with alcoholic beverages. My mom didn’t know we were drinking, and I was not supposed to be.

That night I was texting with a boy that my older brother had warned me about, but I didn’t listen. Looking back, I wish I did.

It wasn’t until later that night that Matt, a popular senior boy, had asked to hang out. Of course, I knew my brothers wouldn’t allow this so, we had to sneak out. It was about one in the morning when my friend and I climbed out of my bedroom window. I was not interested in Matt romantically. I considered him my older brother’s friend. I trusted my older brother. I trusted Matt.

Matt picked us up in a black car and drove us to his house. He had to sneak us through a basement window.

There were bedrooms and a living room area in the basement. I sat on the couch and gathered familiar faces from the room. Four of Matt’s friends were there. Matt emerged from one of the bedrooms with a bottle of clear alcohol he wanted me to drink. This is when one of Matt’s friends suggested I drink from a tall shot glass, which they labeled the “bitch cup.”

About five shots tall, I drank it. I guess I didn’t know how badly it would mess me up. But the boys who gave it to me did.

Then it was like I fell into a dark abyss. No light anywhere. Just dark, dense silence — and cold. That’s all I could ever remember from that night. Apparently, I was there for not even an entire hour before they discarded me in the snow.

Waking up was a complete blur. I had to be carried into my mother’s bedroom, in complete and total confusion. I was freezing and sick and bruised, my hair in icy chunks weighted against me. When my mom gave me a bath, she saw that I was hurt down in my privates.

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We all knew something wasn’t right. Something had gone wrong in the night.

My mother told me she found me outside, left for dead, and when she heard me trying to get to the door, she thought it was a dog scratching. I was weak and could have died in the below freezing temperatures.

Next thing I knew, I was in the ER getting blood drawn and having various tests done. We all knew what had happened, we just wanted someone else to say it for us. The doctors examined the rape kit and verified that our nightmares were real. This nightmare, though, didn’t end. It continued on for many long months. It was only later I learned that my best friend, a year younger than me, had been raped, too.

Days seemed to drag on as I watched my brother get bullied and my mom lose her job. Ultimately our house burned to the ground.

I couldn’t go out in public, let alone school.

I sat alone in my room, most days, pondering the worth of my life. I quit praying because if God were real, why would he do this?

I was suspended from the cheerleading squad and people told me that I was “asking for it” and would “get what was coming.”

Why would I even want to believe in a God? Why would a God even allow this to happen? I lost all faith in religion and humanity. I saw myself as ugly, inside and out. If I was this ugly on the inside, then why shouldn’t everyone see the ugly I saw?

I burned and carved the ugly I saw into my arms, wrists, legs and anywhere I could find room.

On Twitter and Facebook, I was called a skank and a liar and people encouraged me to kill myself. Twice, I did try to take my own life.

When I went to a dance competition I saw a girl there who was wearing a T-shirt she made. It read: “Matt 1, Daisy 0.”

Matt’s family was very powerful in the state of Missouri and he was also a very popular football player in my town, but I still couldn’t believe it when I was told the charges were dropped. Everyone had told us how strong the case was — including a cell phone video of the rape which showed me incoherent.

All records have been sealed in the case, and I was told the video wasn’t found. My brother told me it was passed around school.

My scars only come to the surface when I’m tan or cold now. It’s as if over time my body learned to heal some of the ugly, but it will always be a part of me.

Just like this case. It will live with me forever.

Since this happened, I’ve been in hospitals too many times to count. I’ve found it impossible to love at times. I’ve gained and lost friends. I no longer dance or compete in pageants. I’m different now, and I can’t ever go back to the person I once was. That one night took it all away from me. I’m nothing more than just human, but I also refuse to be a victim of cruelty any longer.

This is why I am saying my name. This is why I am not shutting up. Matt put on Twitter something recently. It read: “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.”

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Since Anonymous has gotten involved, everything has changed. #justice4Daisy has trended on the Internet, and pressure has come down hard on the authorities who thought they could hide what really happened.

I not only survived, I didn’t give up. I’ve been told that a special prosecutor is going to reopen the case now. This is a victory, not just for me, but for every girl.

I just hope more men will take a lesson from my brothers.

They look out for women. They don’t prey on them.

http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/daisy-coleman-maryville-rape

Misinformation Coming From Facebook #OpMaryville #Justice4Daisy

A Facebook page called Justice For Daisy Coleman is spreading misinformation about Daisy’s rape.

This is what was in the “about me” portion of the page:

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I personally have never heard Daisy say she was drugged. The only thing close was “she drank a clear liquid.” Alcohol (Bacardi) was recovered from the Barnett residence.

She made it clear to her knowledge she was not drugged.

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Also here:

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This was brought up to the admins of the page and they did take the “drugged” portion out.

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This was part of the Kansas City Star article:

Bacardi was recovered from the Barnett home with other bottles of “clear liquids”
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Drugs weren’t found. Her BAL at 9am the next morning was still 0.13.
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Please disregard misinformation going around. If it’s not confirmed with science or the words of Daisy, her mom, Paige, or her mom it’s misinformation.

We don’t need all the rumors stated to be taken as facts.

Please follow @justice4daisy or @opmaryville for current and correct information. None of the actual facebook pages are legit. Only the Justice4Daisy Event Page

To also be clear: I’ve never lived in Maryville.

 

Time Of #OpMaryville Rally Changed

The Rally time has been changed from 10:00A.M to 6:00P.M.

Updated Flyer.
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Press Release On Behalf Of Matthew Barnett? #opmaryville

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