14-year-old Daisy Coleman maybe be the bravest woman in America right now.
On January 8, 2012, the young cheerleader was allegedly raped by football player Matthew Barnett while an unnamed boy allegedly raped Parkhurst. A third person captured the act on film. Later, the nearly unconscious Coleman was dropped in the corner of her yard. It was 22 degrees. Three hours later, her mother heard clawing at the door and opened it to find her daughter in a t-shirt and sweatpants, her hair frozen. Upon taking her to the hospital, doctors learned the girl’s blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit, and found tears inside her that indicated she had been raped. Sexual assault charges were dismissed, with fingers being pointed at Barnett’s connection to local representative Rex Barnett, who is the boy's grandfather.
The Kansas City Star published a horrific account of the scenario, painting Maryville in an even more Steubenvilleville-esque light, detailing how the town seemed to plant themselves firmly on the side of Barnett. The Coleman’s house was burned down under mysterious circumstances (they were no longer living in it) and Coleman's classmates rallyed against her. At a dance competition, Coleman's mother claims “a girl arrived wearing a homemade shirt: Matt 1, Daisy 0.”
Earlier this week, Parkhurst appeared on Al Jazeera describing her experience. "I was really confused and didn’t understand what was fully going on," she said.
And today, Coleman courageously came forward on xoJane, detailing how she was "discarded" in the snow, and how, afterwards, classmates had told her she was "asking for it" and would "get what was coming."
She also notes her accused rapist's apathetic, and blatantly slimy stance on social media. A recent tweet 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.”
Thanks in part to support from Anonymous, a special prosecuter being tasked with re-examing the case. We can only hope the courage of these two young girls will be be met with what they really deserve—justice.