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Daisy Coleman, the 15-year-old alleged rape victim at the center of the ongoing case from Maryville, Missouri, wrote in a recent article that her alleged sexual assault and the intense community backlash that followed caused her to lose "all faith in religion and humanity."
In an article entitled "I'm Daisy Coleman, The Teenager at the Center of the Maryville Rape Media Storm, and This is What Really Happened," Daisy describes her experience of the events that took place on a frigid night in January 2012, when she says she was given alcohol and raped at the age of 14 by 17-year-old Matthew Barnett, a senior at Maryville High School in Missouri and grandson to Rex Barnett, a Republican who served four terms as state representative until 2002.
Daisy writes in the article for XOJane that following her alleed rape and the immense amount of community backlash she and her family received, she lost "all faith in religion and humanity."
"I sat alone in my room, most days, pondering the worth of my life. I quit praying because if God were real, why would he do this?"
Daisy wrote of the depression and anxiety she endured when her case went public. "Why would I even want to believe in a God? Why would a God even allow this to happen? I lost all faith in religion and humanity. I saw myself as ugly, inside and out. If I was this ugly on the inside, then why shouldn't everyone see the ugly I saw?"
After Daisy was reportedly given alcohol and allegedly raped by Barnett, she says she was left outside of her mother Melinda's home, three miles from Barnett's home, in freezing temperatures all night until her mother heard her scratching at the door in the early hours of the morning. After finding her daughter suffered trauma to her genitals, Melinda took her to the nearby hospital where a rape kit confirmed that sexual intercourse had taken place.
Daisy's friend, Paige Parkhurst, was 13-years-old during the night of the alleged assault, and also claims to have been raped by one of Barnett's friends, a 15-year-old, after she repeatedly told him "no."
Barnett admitted to having sex with Daisy and was aware she had been drinking, but he insisted the sex was consensual. A second boy, Jordan Zech, allegedly recorded part of the sexual encounter on his cell phone, although he claims he didn't realize the two were actually having sexual intercourse. Barnett was charged with sexual assault, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, while Zech was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor for his video, a felony charge.
The case was initially taken up by Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert L. Rice, who ultimately dropped two charges in the case, claiming Melinda Coleman and her daughter weren't cooperating. Melinda told The Kansas City Star, however, that she had been notified by a friend with local political ties that favors were being used by Barnett's influential family to have charges dropped.
The case is now being picked up by Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker, who has promised to "thoroughly review" the case "without fear and without favor." Both Daisy and her mother have appeared on CNN to make the case public in the hopes of ultimately getting justice.
Since Daisy's alleged rape went public, the young girl claims she and her family have suffered the wrath of the small knit town of Maryville where few families, such as the Barnetts and the Zechs, hold strong sway in the community. Verbal abuse and bullying towards Daisy, her siblings and her mother grew so strong that the mother ultimately relocated the family to Albany, Missouri. After their relocation, their Maryville house was burnt down and the local fire department determined the causes of the fire to be unknown.
Additionally, Daisy has reportedly been in therapy since the incident, and has attempted to take her own life multiple times.
Prosecutor Peters-Baker continues to promise that the review of Daisy's case will be conducted without the influence of political favors. "I can assure you that politics, connections or any other reason you can think of will not play a role in our review of this case," she said, according to Fox 4 Kansas City. "It will be the evidence as it is in every case that we review."