In Maryville, MIssouri, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman was drugged, raped and left outside to freeze by 17-year-old Matthew Barnett, the grandson of Missouri state Representative, Rex Barnett. Despite overwhelming evidence, and a confession from Barnett, felony charges against the alleged rapist were dropped.
On Oct. 14, in response to the perceived injustice, Anonymous launched Operation Maryville (#OpMaryville). Hacktivists associated with the international collective known as Anonymous are demanding “an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy’s case.”
In a press release via Pastebin Anonymous asks some important questions:
“Why was a suspect, who confessed to a crime, released with no charges? How was video and medical evidence not enough to put one of these football players inside a court room? What is the connection of these prosecutors, if any, to Rep. Rex Barnett?”
The alleged rapist, Matthew Barnett, is currently a student at the University of Central Missouri. Barnett was 17 at the time of the sexual assault, was legally considered to be an adult, and was charged as an adult. However, last March the sexual assault charges against Barnett were dropped, even after Barnett admitted to sexually assaulting the intoxicated minor.
Critics claim the charges were dropped because of the families powerful connections within the state government. However, Barnett’s grandfather, Rex, a Republican state representative, claims that the dismissal had nothing to do with political influence.
Adding insult to injury, media reports indicate the residents of the small town of Maryville viciously attacked and bullied the rape victim and her family, making their lives a nightmare.
(Click here for a timeline of the Maryville rape case.)
Anonymous concluded their release with the following:
If Maryville won’t defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them. Mayor Jim Fall, your hands are dirty. Maryville, expect us.
We Are Anonymous.
We Are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
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