What is “rape culture?” Does it even exist, as feminists contend it does? First, a little definition of terms, from Wiki:
“Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification and trivializing rape.“
Months before anyone had ever heard of Steubenville, there was Maryville, Missouri. What happens reads like a script from a movie. In a sense, what happened during the opening act isn’t the most atrocious part of the story; it’s a scene in almost every detail played out in little towns and big cities all across the nation.
Two girls, one 13 and the other 14 years old sneak out of a basement window at 1 A.M. They were pretty new to town, and still looking for a niche. Daisy had joined the cheerleading team, and had invited a 13-year-old friend for a sleepover. She was pretty new to town, too; the two had grown up together just 40 miles away in Albany, MO.
They’d been texting a tall, 17 year old defensive end from the high school football team, who talked them into coming to a little gathering. And the football player was connected at more than the high school; Matthew Barnett was a friend of her brother’s. Oh…and his grandfather was a longtime member of the Missouri House of Representatives.
Almost immediately, the two girls are fed shot after shot of vodka and candy-flavored Big Apple Bacardi rum. The young girls were fed so much alcohol that neither could stand, walk or do much more than mumble a coherent sentence. The last thing either one of them remembered was being surrounded by popular high school football players — smiling, laughing, and feeding them big glasses of “clear stuff.”
2 A.M. Scarcely an hour after the girls had snuck out, a car pulls up to their home with the headlights off. Shadowy figures haul the girls out of the car, and leave the half-dressed Daisy on the front step of her home. She vomited on the lawn. It was 22 degrees, and she was dressed in little more than sweatpants and a T-shirt.
One imagines those pants were bloodstained from the several 2 to 4 inch gashes inside of her vagina. While bathing her daughter, Daisy’s mother noticed the red, inflamed area around her genitalia and buttocks. Daisy said it hurt, and began to cry.
5 A.M. Daisy’s mother hears a scratching at the front door, which she believes to be a dog. It’s her daughter, barely conscious, with her hair frozen to her head. By 6 A.M., Daisy was at the hospital, and at 9 A.M., more than 7 hours her last drink, Daisy’s blood alcohol level was 0.14.
At 11 A.M., Police interview Barnett, who ADMITS TO HAVING SEX with the girl, and admits that she TOLD HIM NO several times beforehand.
HE ADMITTED TO RAPING SOMEONE WHO HAD ALREADY TOLD HIM NO.
But, as Family Guy might have said: “Fifty ‘nos’ and a ‘yes’ is apparently a ‘yes.‘”
His two friends are interviewed at the police station. The next day, Barnett is arrested and taken to the Nodoway County Jail. It seems like an open-and-shut case.
…Unless you’re the grandson of a state politician, a popular high school football player, and you live in Rapeland, USA. Unless the girls in question were new to town. In that case, you need only wait three months for the police to mysteriously drop all charges.
The town had exploded with rage initially, but sentiments quickly turned against Daisy Coleman and her friend. After all, the rapists were popular, the football team was suffering, and these were just new girls, after. Whispers of Matthew’s name began making its way to his well-connected grandfather.
The backlash for the event was more than just a few Tweets and nasty posts. Daisy’s mother got fired from her job as a veterinary assistant at SouthPaws Veterinary Clinic. Her former employer cited the “stresses” of the case. Daisy was kicked off the cheerleading team for “her role in the night’s events.”
Law enforcement was none too sympathetic, either. They believed the victim’s mother to be “difficult” and “hostile” — which is something you might be if your pretty girl were brutalized in Rapeland, Missouri. Eventually, the school and the town’s Sheriff wanted nothing more than to slip back into idyllic delusion. Sheriff Darren White believed that the Colemans should just accept what happened, and “get over it.”
(this guy says you should get over it)
Local news organization KCUR reported this from White.
“White is angry about the social media slurry surrounding the case – but his criticism is directed at the Colemans. The alleged victims were “harpooning the case,” he said, taking a case with seven witnesses to a case with 200 witnesses, which muddied the waters. White agrees with Rice’s decision to dismiss the case.
“What really fell apart were the victims and the victims’ families. They’re the ones that actually, absolutely destroyed this case,” White said. “All on their own, all by themselves.”
“At least the suspects were smart enough to keep their mouths shut after it all happened.”
So, what White is essentially saying is that if you’re a new girl who gets raped by a popular and politically well-connected jock who ADMITS ON TAPE that he got you drunk and raped you…then, for God’s sake…DON’T TELL ANYONE!! Interviewing people is really hard, and a signed confession and a half-dozen personal witnesses just aren’t enough to seal the deal.
Lead prosecutor Robert Rice said that he’d decided to drop the charges because of “insufficient evidence.” One of the witnesses who’d claimed to have recorded the rape on his phone had deleted the file afterward. Without that crucial video evidence, which could have been recovered even after a deletion, there just wasn’t sufficient evidence for a conviction. Or even a trial.
So, that’s good to know. Everybody pay attention, because this is important:
It is now impossible to get prosecuted for rape in Missouri unless you have five witnesses, two victims, a signed confession…AND A VIDEO OF THE ASSAULT. Or, as Johnny Cochran would have said:
“If there ain’t no tape, then there ain’t no rape.”
The family left town. Six months later, their old house mysteriously burned to the ground.
Much as it did with the Steubenville case, Anonymous is already on this one.
The video transcript:
- Two young girls have been raped in the town of Maryville, Missouri. Another high school football star, the grandson of a Missouri state official, has walked free. The people of Maryville turned their backs on these victims and one family has been forced to flee the town. Their house was later burned to the ground…
- We demand an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy’s case. 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? Most of all, We are wondering, how do the residents of Maryville sleep at night?
- 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 justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them. Mayor Jim Fall, your hands are dirty. Maryville, expect us.