Infamous hacker group Anonymous has announced a cyber campaign in response to news about the failure to prosecute the alleged rape of two young teens girls in Maryville, Mo.
The heartbreaking report from Dugan Arnett of the Kansas City Star described how, in January 2012, 14-year old Daisy Coleman and her 13-year-old friend got drunk at the home of 17-year old Matthew Barnett, and then Coleman had sex with Barnett and her friend had sex with 15-year-old Jordan Zech — with the latter allegedly filmed by a third boy. While the boys were initially charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence, spurring allegations of corruption.
Two young girls have been raped in the town of Maryville, Missouri. Another high school football star, the grandson of a Missouri state official, has walked free. The people of Maryville turned their backs on these victims and one family has been forced to flee the town. Their house was later burned to the ground. …
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.
Their objective, according to Anonymous’ “Twitterstorm package”:
Raise Awareness in social media, put pressure on Attorney General Chris Koster to launch an investigation into the lack of charges against Matthew Barnett (despite a confession and evidence of his guilt), and promote that on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 10:00am we will meet at the Nodaway County Courthouse in Maryville, Missouri with daisies in our hands for a peaceful protest in support of Daisy Coleman.
The October 22nd Justice For Daisy event
already has more than 900 participants on Facebook.
The campaign appears to be similar to Anonymous’s involvement in the Steubenville rape case in 2012. During that campaign, Anonymous released a Wikileaks-style dump of new information about the case including emails, videos, background information, and social media posts. In addition, Anonymous hacked an unaffiliated website demanding an apology from school officials and local authorities and the emails of those involved in the case.
It remains to be seen what strategy Anonymous will actually take. Deric Lostutter, the Anonymous member who headed the Steubenville campaign, has urged those taking part in the campaign to go through legal methods of protest and investigation.
“It’s highly important not to obtain evidence by hacking, but rather cybersleuthing in #opMaryville because hacking could make such evidence found, inadmissible,” Lostutter posted.
Prior to the start of the campaign, however, the official Anonymous Twitter (or as official as Anonymous gets) sent out this tweet:
But Anonymous may be oversimplifying a complex case, at least in regards to how the local authorities handled it. In a radio interview earlier this year, Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White (who had previously said that a “horrible crime” occurred between the boys and Coleman), said that the victim’s family was largely to blame for the failure of the case. According to White, the Coleman family stopped cooperating with officials.
“What really fell apart were the victims and the victims’ family,” White told KCUR. “They’re the ones that actually absolutely destroyed this case, all on their own, all by themselves. At least the suspects were smart enough to keep their mouths shut after it all happened.”
To keep up on what is happening with #OpMaryville, head over to Anonymous’ Twitter account. Below is the full video statement from Anonymous:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.