Reported rape victim hopes to find justice after charges dropped
A search for justice for a family who says they were forced to leave their small Missouri town after their 14-year-old daughter and sister was raped by a football player and police did nothing to punish the accused teen.
The nightmare for the Coleman family began nearly two years ago when Daisy Coleman was 14 and a freshman cheerleader at Maryville High School in northwest Missouri.
"He drove us to his house and we snuck into his house through his basement window." Daisy remembers.
She says what happened next is wiped from her memory.
"He gave me a big glass of a clear liquid and that's all I remember."
She says she was raped by a 17-year-old senior football player from a prominent local family and another teen videotaped Daisy's the alleged assault on a cell phone.
Witnesses reported seeing Daisy crying as she was carried out of the boy's bedroom.
Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White says he's certain she is a victim and even says the suspects confessed to what happened.
"Which is why that we were within 4 hours of receiving the call able to have people in jail," Sheriff White said.
Arrested and charged. But then the case was dropped.
"The only reason the prosecutor didn't move forward with this case is because he didn't have any victims," Sheriff White said. "The victims chose not to be involved in this case, they chose to not cooperate."
But Daisy's family says that's not accurate.
"She told them everything. And I also talked to the sheriff and the captain and told them everything I knew," Daisy's mother, Melinda Coleman, said. "And that is also in the police report. So that is absolutely not true."
Instead of the boys facing charges, Daisy and her siblings say they faced bullying and vicious name-calling by peers at school and online.
"You hear it so often that you're all these different things. You start to believe it and I started to hate myself," Daisy said.
It got so bad, Daisy tried to kill herself twice. That's when the family packed up and moved. But as the house was on the market, a mysterious fire broke out and the cause is still unknown. The house is abandoned and the Colemans are desperate for answers and hoping for justice that may never come.
The prosecutor in the case was unavailable to comment on why the charges were dropped. The accused teen's parents refused to comment without an attorney.