steubenville twitter __1382005012_74.134.205.46Here’s some good news, or potentially good news, for those of us who have been infuriated by the details surrounding the rape cases of Daisy Coleman and Paige Parkhurst - Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert L. Rice held a press conference yesterday announcing he has asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed to the case that may result in new charges being filed. He claims he decided to do this after witnesses in the case said they would cooperate in the investigation. This may come as news to Melinda Coleman, the mom of one of the victims, who previously stated to CNN that she was cooperative:

“I told them everything,” she told CNN on Tuesday. “That’s absolutely not true, and it still kind of shocks me that they’re lying about it.”

According to the Kansas City Star:

Coleman says that in late May 2012, she and her daughter did decline to participate in a deposition, but only after the two felony charges — sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor — were dropped on March 13, 2012.

The following day, however, after discussing it with Daisy, she said she returned to Rice’s office, declining to sign a form backing up her previous day’s statement and telling Rice she wished to participate in a deposition for the remaining misdemeanor charge.

In late July, she says, she and Daisy met with Rice, Sundell and a court reporter to go over the events surrounding Daisy’s being left in freezing temperatures in the early morning hours of Jan. 8. During that meeting, Coleman says, Rice yelled at her and demanded to know where she’d heard that political favors had been called in. Rice has denied ever raising his voice during that deposition.

There is no word on how long this special prosecutor will reexamine this case, but I’m glad they have decided to reopen it.The special prosecutor will be from outside the county. Melinda Coleman told The Star:

 

“I feel like that’s just so great,” she told The Star after Rice’s announcement. “Because at least we’re getting a fair shot. At least our story’s getting heard and not just swept under the rug.”

Swept under the rug indeed. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out and whether additional charged are filed, because I’m not sure raping a young girl, filming it, and dumping her outside to get frostbite really qualifies as a misdemeanor. I hope both girls see some hope in these new developments and they continue to feel support from the community ) and no, by community I don’t mean local residents) who want justice served in this case. I’ll update as needed and continue following this case, but it’s nice to see that some action is being taken. Matthew Barnett accused of raping Daisy Coleman, has had his attorney issue a statement here, which includes this lovely little nugget of victim blaming:

she freely admitted that her daughter does not always tell the truth, particularly when she is in a stressful situation.

This statement was met with this comment:

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The rally for Daisy Coleman and Paige Parkhurst is still set to take place on October 22. Reports claim that the city has amped up security and will be on “careful watch” during this time. They should be very aware people will be holding daisies and possibly carrying signs that say things like “don’t rape” on them. If it’s anything like the Stuebenville protests, they can also expect to see terrifying acts like people bringing each other cups of coffee and hugging a lot.
(Image: twitter)