Lately, Anonymous has been killing it with the online social justice advocacy. The 'hacktivist' group is planning a 'Twitter storm' about the Maryville sexual assault case, continuing a tradition they started by being instrumental in bringing to light facts about the Steubenville rape case last year. On Tuesday, the group said it would stage a rally outside the Maryville courthouse on October 22 and launch a Twitter campaign to protest county prosecutors dropping the case.
To quickly summarize the situation: In January 2012, Daisy Coleman's mom found her half-dressed and half-conscious on their front porch. Coleman, 14, said she had been raped by a 17-year-old from her high school, a football player and the grandson of a prominent state Representative. She alleged that her friend had also been raped by another boy while a third boy watched and videotaped. Nodaway County prosecutors began investigating, but dropped the charges two months later due to 'lack of evidence.'
The fallout for the Coleman family has been brutal. The local Sheriff said that a crime "definitely happened," but there wasn't anything they could do about it and the families were just going to have to "get over it." In an online statement about #OpMaryville, Anonymous demanded "an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities" of Coleman's case, including why a video and medical evidence weren't enough to take the case to court.
We have heard Daisy's story far too often. We heard it from Steubenville, Halifax and Uttar Pradesh. In some cases, it was too late. Both Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons, girls not much older than Daisy, took their own lives after the adults, the police and the school system, failed to protect them. If Maryville won't defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if the justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them. Mayor Jim Fall, your hands are dirty. Maryville, expect us.
The renewed interest was sparked by a long report about the case in The Kansas City Star newspaper on Sunday. Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder asked yesterday that the case be reopened, according to NBC News. He urged the state Attorney General and the Nodaway County Prosecutor to join him in asking to convene a grand jury in the case. A spokeswoman for the AG said he wouldn't get involved.