By NATALIA HAWK
WARNING: This article deals with an account of rape/sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
UPDATE: The 13-year-old alleged rape victim in the Maryville case has released her name and also spoken out. Her name is Paige Parkhurst, and she sat down with her mother to tell America Tonight about exactly what happened that night.
She recounted the evening, saying that by sharing her story, she’s hoping to stop sexual assault and cyber bullying:
I want other women and girls and men and boys not to be afraid to speak out against sexual assault. It is a very big epidemic in the world, and I just hope that other people can be brave enough to speak up when this happened to them.
And I’d also like to move forward and begin my life again, and to have known that there’s that piece of security of knowing that I at least tried to my best ability to have something done.
You can read the full transcript of her interview here.
Who remembers the Steubenville rape?
Last year, two 16-year-old male football players from Steubenville, Ohio, were charged with raping a 16-year-old girl at a party while she was unconscious. Students who witnessed the assault used Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and texting to share photos and video of the rape.
But despite the evidence, the community rallied together to support the footballers. The victim was treated like a criminal. Social media messages shamed the 16-year-old girl, suggesting that she’d consented to events that took place that night.
During the trial, the defence team for the football players argued that the victim – who was heavily intoxicated on the night and unconscious for much of it – consented to sex because she did not “say no”.
In March this year, the two boys were found guilty of rape; each received the minimum sentence. The case was discussed all over the world. So many were shocked by the reaction of the town and their immediate swing towards protecting a popular pair of football players. So many were horrified by the disgusting things said about the female victim.
And now it’s happening all over again. In Maryville, Missouri – only a couple of states away from Ohio.
This time, it’s a young woman named Daisy who is suffering. And all because she filed sexual assault charges against a 17-year-old local star football player named Matthew Barnett.
Here’s what is alleged to have happened.
In January 2012, then 14-year-old Daisy crept out of her house at around 1am, with her 13-year-old best friend. They went to a party.
Daisy was a blonde cheerleader and beauty pageant competitor. She was new in town; her family had moved to Maryville after her father’s death, attempting to get a fresh start.
Daisy had been texting with a local boy, Matthew Barnett, who came from an extremely well-known family in Maryville. Barnett’s grandfather was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.
Barnett was at the party with a few other boys. Daisy drank a glass of something they gave her. She became intoxicated. She couldn’t stand up.
And then she was allegedly raped by Barnett.
At the same party, Daisy’s 13-year-old friend was also allegedly raped by another 15-year-old boy. (Both of them remain unnamed, as the boy’s case went through the juvenile court, and the girl has chosen to remain unnamed. Daisy’s name has been released with the permission of her family.)
Daisy and her friend were driven home by the boys in the very early hours of the morning. The 13-year-old was told to go inside, while they watched as Daisy sobered up in the car.
Daisy’s mother found her when she woke up. Daisy was alone and unconscious on the front porch of their house. Her wet hair was frozen solid. She was only wearing track pants and a t-shirt. She’d been left out there, in the middle of the night, when temperatures would have reached well into the minuses.