Melinda Coleman and her family had to move from Maryville, Mo. after her daughter was allegedly raped by a football player, according to
a heartbreaking story from Dugan Arnett of the Kansas City Star.
It’s an all-too-familiar story that has some similarities to the Steubenville rape case.
On a Saturday night in January 2012, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman was dumped semi-conscious on her porch in the middle of the night.
She had been at the home of 17-year-old Matthew Barnett, a senior defensive end on the football team. At his house, Daisy, her friend, and three boys including Barnett got drunk. Barnett and Daisy (who was allegedly “unable to speak coherently and had to be carried from the bedroom” afterward) had sex.
She woke up the next morning on her porch.
“Coleman tried to process what she was seeing. Daisy had a history of sleepwalking — years earlier, she had wandered outside. Had she done it again? In her daughter’s bedroom, Coleman found the 13-year-old asleep. She, too, seemed confused.
“Still struggling to make sense of it all, Coleman carried her daughter to the bathroom, to be undressed for a warm bath.
“That’s when she saw the redness around her daughter’s genitalia and buttocks. It hurt, the girl said, when Coleman asked about it. Then she began crying.”
Barnett was later charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. According to the KC Star, the sheriff Darren White thought he had a case that would “definitely” result in prosecutions.
Two months later, though, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Melanie Coleman believes favours were called in for Barnett’s well-connected family.
The town turned on the Colemans.
Melanie Coleman was fired from her job, and she thinks it’s because her boss had ties to the Barnett family. Melanie had moved her family to Maryville after her husband died in a car crash, and she believes her “outsider” status is responsible for the treatment from the town.
Threats were made against the Coleman kids. Daisy, who was the target of victim-blaming from students, has been in therapy since the incident. She tried to commit suicide twice, the KC Star reports.
The Coleman’s eventually left Maryville and moved back to Albany, Mo. In April, the Maryville home that they were trying to sell burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances.
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