Teenage Boy Accused Of Rape Allowed To Plead Guilty To Misdemeanor And Say “Sorry” In The Daisy Coleman Case
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that applies to rape cases as well. False claims of rape ARE NOT uncommon and no one should assume that a man accused of rape is guilty just because there’s an accusation. That being said, the Daisy Coleman case is extremely disturbing.
The high school football player accused of raping 14-year-old Daisy Coleman pleaded guilty to child endangerment today but was not charged with any sexual offenses after the teen and her family accepted his apology.
Matthew Barnett, 19, was given a two-year suspended sentence in Maryville, Missouri after entering a plea bargain that required him merely to apologize and pay $1,800 towards Coleman’s future counseling.
Coleman, who has tried to commit suicide three times since the alleged attack in 2012, said she believed Barnett’s apology was ‘genuine’, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said.
‘Today I am grateful… I am ready to move forward,’ Coleman, now 16, said in a statement. ‘To all of those who supported me, I promise what happened on January 8 of 2012 will not define me forever.’
…The child endangerment charge, which was only brought to the court on Thursday morning, stems from leaving Daisy outside her house in the snow following the alleged attack.
Barnett was not charged with a felony after prosecutors said on Thursday that there was insufficient evidence to support sex assault charges.
It was also revealed all charges against 19-year-old Barnett’s co-accused Jordan Zech have been dropped, effectively bringing an end to the saga.
…Coleman had claimed that Barnett raped her at a January 2012 house party, when he was a Maryville High School senior and she was a freshman. Barnett says the sex was consensual.
The case received national attention after fellow students relentlessly bullied the alleged victim for reporting the attack – eventually forcing her family to flee the small town. The family home then mysteriously burned down.
…The announcement of the lesser charge of endangerment comes only days after Ms Coleman made a third attempt on her life – this one resulting in possible brain damage.
She is currently being held in the psych ward of a Kansas City Hospital.
…And, in yet another bizarre twist, mutilated rabbits were stuffed inside a car belonging to another girl who was sexually assaulted that night. The sick act came just hours after Coleman attempted suicide.
…The charges stemmed from an incident on January 8, 2012 when Barnett and some other boys picked up Daisy and Paige Parkhurst, then-13-years-old, from Daisy’s house and took them to the home of one of the boys. The two girls sneaked out of Ms Coleman’s home to attend the party.
…Daisy claimed that when she got to the party she was given a clear liquid that she drank before being taken into a bedroom and raped while a second boy recorded the act on his cellphone.
Daisy said she blacked out and doesn’t remember much after arriving at the boy’s home. Melinda Coleman has said she believes her daughter was given a date-rape drug.
Mr Barnett admitted the two had sex and that he was aware Ms Coleman had been drinking, but has steadfastly insisted the sex was consensual.
Jordan Zech, 17, was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor for filming the encounter.
Ms Parkhurst was taken into a different room by a 15-year-old boy who forced her to have sex, which he has admitted to doing. His case was handled in the juvenile system and is not public record.
Melinda Coleman said she awoke around 5 a.m. to a clawing sound at her front door and found her daughter shivering in sub-freezing temperatures. She said she was giving Daisy a bath to warm her up when she noticed signs that she had been assaulted.
Daisy was then subjected to relentless bullying online and in school. It became so bad she has tried committing suicide multiple times.
These two girls came to the party together and we know one of them was raped. Daisy Coleman says she was drugged and Barnett had sex with her when she was so drunk/drugged she reportedly couldn’t speak and allowed someone to film the whole thing. Afterwards, Coleman was left UNCONSCIOUS in the snow outside of her mother’s home. That doesn’t sound very ambiguous at all. It sounds like rape — and when you know that the boy involved was a popular football player from a powerful family while the girl was treated like garbage and had her house burned down, it sounds like this kid is skating for rape because he’s from a powerful family. Yes, Daisy Coleman and her family seem to be accepting it, but what else can they do after the justice system has failed them, their house has been burned down and Daisy is brain damaged after multiple suicide attempts? Looking in from the outside, it certainly doesn’t seem like justice has been served in this case.
Update #1: Here’s another perspective on the case from Duane Lester, a writer at Right Wing News. I’m not sure I agree with Duane’s take, but he lives in the area, has investigated the case extensively and has put a lot of legwork into getting to the bottom of the case. So, I thought what he had to say deserved a fair hearing.