CRIME

Battle Heats Up In Daisy Coleman Rape Case; Lt. Gov. Calls For Grand Jury

10/16/2013 11:39 am ET
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Officials in Missouri are calling on the state's attorney general to revisit the horrifying sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl allegedly raped by a football player who got her excessively drunk.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said that a grand jury should "make the final call on whether criminal charges should or should not be filed" in the case of Daisy Coleman, according a statement published in the Missouri Torch.

Nodaway County's prosecutor dropped felony charges against two Maryville High School 17-year-olds in March 2012, two months after the alleged assault of Coleman.

Attorney general Chris Koster's office said that he has no authority under state law to reopen the investigation on his own, according to the Associated Press.

From Kinder's statement:

“I am disappointed that the Attorney General would wash his hands of the matter through a brief statement by a spokesman. The appalling facts in the public record shock the conscience and cry out that responsible authorities must take another look. I call on Attorney General Koster and Prosecutor [Robert] Rice to join me in asking that the Circuit Court convene a grand jury to review all the evidence, hear all witnesses, and issue a decision as to whether charges should ensue."

Following the lieutenant governor's lead, Missouri House Speaker Timothy Jones also called on the attorney general to "utilize his authority to intervene."

The political pressure, compounded by public outcry from the activist hacker group Anonymous, could force Koster to act, according to Emily Bazelon of Slate.

"Kinder’s statement on its own doesn’t mean there will be a grand jury, necessarily. But the politics suggest it’s likely," Bazelon writes. "Kinder is a Republican. Koster is a Democrat (he switched parties in 2007). Now there will be pressure on him to respond."

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