CREDIT: al Jazeera America
The tragic story of Daisy Coleman made national news over the weekend: She and her younger friend (whose name remained anonymous) were allegedly raped by neighborhood football stars in Maryville, Missouri back in 2012, at the ages of 14 and 13 respectively. In a series of events that hint at questionable ethics, neither of their cases went to trial, and they were shunned by the neighborhood for reporting what happened.
As Daisy’s story gains national notoriety — and solidarity — her fellow victim is coming forward with her own tale of the night of the assault. Paige Parkhurst spoke with Al Jazeera to tell her heartbreaking rendition of the night’s events. She also said she’s been incredibly inspired by the public’s support for her story, which has reached such a fever pitch that Maryville has agreed to bring in a special prosecutor to investigate their cases:
And another boy that was there with me, had taken me into another room, and had sexually assaulted me, after me telling him no, pushing him away. And after he was done, he made me go back out into the living room with him, and we sat and waited until Matt was done with Daisy. […]
I felt like I needed the story to come out from me also, and that I needed to be able to voice my opinion, along with my mother. We didn’t have this kind of support when everything happened, but now that we do have a lot of support and we do have people listening, it’s like a miracle. It feels really good that it’s finally getting spoken about. We’ve waited for this day for a very long time.
Paige ends the interview by saying, “I would like justice to be done, and I would like to be able to know that there was something to be done, and that our voice didn’t go unheard.”
Her wish may be fulfilled: The original prosecutor who’s taken much of the blame for the case getting dropped has asked a new special prosecutor to come in and examine the evidence. He stands by his version of events (that the girls’ families became uncooperative with the investigation), but says the special prosecutor will satisfy public scrutiny.
Among those questioning the validity of the decision to drop the case are Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (R) and Missouri House Speaker Timothy Jones (R), along with national advocates for rape prevention and the notoriously aggressive pursuers of rapists, hacktivist group Anonymous.
Daisy’s mom says she’ll be happy even if the prosecutor doesn’t bring charges. “I think just having it looked at fairly and having other people know how much we were bullied goes a long way. Even if that’s all that ever comes out of it,” she told the AP. “That may be enough to move on and have some peace and some security.”