Maryville Rape Case
2:03 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Maryville Rape Decision Set for Thursday

A decision will be announced Thursday at the Nodaway County Courthouse in Maryville, Mo., on a controversial rape case.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

A highly-anticipated decision is expected Thursday on a controversial rape case in Maryville, Mo.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Wednesday, two years to the day of the alleged assault, that she will announce the findings of her investigation in Maryville at 1:30 p.m.

Baker has not made any indication what her decision might be. She could refile charges against two boys that were dropped earlier, refuse to file any charges, or choose other legal claims.

Baker was appointed as the special prosecutor by Nodaway County Associate Circuit Judge Glen Dietrich in October after the story made international headlines.

As KCUR reported last July, Daisy Coleman, then 14, and her friend Paige Parkhurst, then 13, snuck out of the Coleman's house early on Jan. 8, 2012, after texting with Matthew Barnett, a then-17-year-old Maryville High School football player. The girls had been drinking, then drank more with Barnett and his friends at his family's home. Coleman was later dropped at her mother's doorstep, left without a coat or shoes in freezing temperatures. She was discovered by her mother hours later.

Parkhurst's assailant, a minor boy, made a plea bargain through the juvenile justice system and spent several months on probation.

Barnett and his friend, Jordan Zech, a then 17-year-old who allegedly videotaped Coleman and Barnett on an iPhone, were charged. Barnett admitted having sex with Coleman but said it was consensual. Three months after making the initial charges, Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice dropped the case, saying he didn't have enough evidence to proceed.

After publication of a newspaper story in October, the story went viral, triggering online outrage and a protest by so-called Internet "hactivist" Anonymous. That's when Rice asked the court to appoint a special prosecutor.  

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