Daisy Coleman, the Maryville, Missouri, teenager whose rape by a politically well-connected classmate attracted nationwide attention, tried to commit suicide this week.
Daisy was raped in 2012 at age 14 by some of her male classmates at a party she attended with a girl friend. Both girls were given alcohol by older boys and allegedly raped while drunk; one of the rapes was allegedly recorded with an iPhone camera and passed around school. The night, the boys dropped Daisy and her friend, Paige Parkhurst, off at Daisy’s home. While Paige made it inside, Daisy was left outside on the front lawn overnight in freezing temperatures while drunk. Her alleged rapist, high school football player Matthew Barnett, then 17, had all charges dismissed against him. Matthew is the grandson of a MO state representative.
Daisy’s ordeal came to light in an article published in October in the Kansas City Star. Daisy, now 16, and her mother Melinda Coleman have been vocal about holding Barnett and their community accountable. The entire family has been harassed by neighbors, bullied at school and Melinda was even let go from her job. As recently as Saturday night, Daisy was attacked on Facebook after going to a party with classmates, which some kids apparently objected to her attending.
On Sunday evening, Melinda told FOX 4 news in Kansas City that Daisy tried to kill herself by consuming an unidentified drug. Although the UK’s Daily Mail said Daisy might have suffered brain damage from the suicide attempt, FOX 4 said she is currently in stable condition at a children’s psychiatric hospital.
Melinda Coleman lashed out on Facebook last night, asking for help from the online hacktivist group Anonymous, who were integral in bringing the Steubenville rape case to light and also spoke out on behalf of Daisy. In October, the Missouri prosecutor who initially dropped charges appointed a special prosecutor to review the investigation of Daisy’s case and why charges against Matthew Barnett were dropped. At this point, justice for Daisy might not just mean seeing her assailant finally punished but being able to live her life in peace.
[FOX 4 KC]
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