The Daily Grind Video

Another day, another rape tolerance story.

The situations are almost identical. Girl gets raped. Victim goes public about assault. Victim questioned about her validity or shamed by whole town, (as was the case with the 16-year-old rape victim in Steubenville, Ohio).

But in this particular case in Maryville, Missouri, the 14-year-old rape victim who angered her neighbors in the small town had her house burned down after she came forward to implicate a local football star in the assault.

And yes, that really happened.

The story, which began last year, was brought to light in the Kansas City Star’s seven-month long investigation into the case.

Fourteen-year-old Daisy and her 13-year-old friend were both high school freshman in January 2012, when they were invited to a house party by a senior star of the Maryville football team. Once there, the older girl was given a large glass filled with alcohol and urged by a room full of some of the school’s most popular athletes to drink it. She did, and they handed her a second glass.

The following morning, Daisy’s mother discovered her daughter, alone on her front lawn in sub-freezing temperatures, weeping. She helped Daisy into the bathtub after finding her outside, where she noticed reddish, irritated areas around her daughter’s genitalia and buttocks.

Daisy’s mom also found the 13-year-old friend was upstairs in Daisy’s room, also “confused.” Both girls were taken to a hospital. On Daisy’s body, a doctor found small vaginal tears emblematic of someone who has just had sex. The 13-year-old, who remembered the night’s events, told investigators she was forced to have sex, despite saying “no” over and over again.

A 17-year-old defensive end named Matt Barnett (who also happens to be the grandson of a prominent Missouri state senator) admitted to having “consensual” sex with Daisy and within days, he and another football player named Jordan Zech were arrested. Barnett was facing a felony sexual assault charge and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. The other teenager was charged for sexual exploitation of a minor.

But just like Steubenville, the town of Maryville turned on the victim and disputed her claims. Her family was shunned, her mother fired from her job as a veterinarian two weeks after the incident. Daisy was attacked verbally on social networks and the charges against the boys mysteriously dropped without explanation.

And then, six months ago, the family’s old house burned down. No one was arrested.

In fact, even though Daisy’s family hasn’t stopped questioning why the charges were dropped, authorities aren’t talking and no one has been arrested, charged or reprimanded for the rape, the fire, or the bullying.

This may be the reason:

The Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice, who was responsible for the case against Barnett and Zech, also has political ties to Rex Barnett, the grandfather of Matt Barnett. When the mother of the victim sought an explanation from Rice as to why he dropped the charges against both boys, he ignored her phone calls. The Star finally tracked down Rice months later and asked the same question, and — in his office, where a picture of Rex Barnett hangs — he told the paper simply that it was due to a lack of evidence. He went on to dismiss the events of that night as the act of “incorrigible teenagers.”

The video that Zech admitted to filming on an iPhone has never surfaced, not even to police. And Missouri state law dictates that in cases where the charges are dropped, all of the records pertaining to the case — interviews with eyewitnesses, tests done on bedsheets, the results of rape kits — are sealed.

Absolutely disgusting. Did we not learn anything from Steubenville? We send our prayers to Daisy’s family and denounce the shameful acts of the residents and authorities in the town of Maryville, Missouri.

We’ll keep you updated on this terrible case.

SOURCE: Think Progress, Kansas City | PHOTO CREDIT: Think Progress