CRIME

Paige Parkhurst, Second Victim In Maryville Rape Case, Speaks Out

10/16/2013 08:14 pm ET | Updated Oct 17, 2013

A second victim who says she faced threats and harassment after being raped by a classmate in Maryville, Mo. has come forward.

Paige Parkhurst was 13 in January 2012, when she and Coleman, then 14, were having a sleepover at Coleman's home in Maryville, Parkhurst told Al Jazeera America.

The two girls wound up sneaking out of the house to attend a party at the home of Maryville High School football player Matthew Barnett, who was 17 at the time. Both girls say that Barnett and a 15-year-old boy -- whose name has not been released -- raped them at the party.

Parkhurst detailed the horrific night to Al Jazeera :

We got there, and they just started handing [Daisy Coleman] drink after drink after drink. And they had separated us as soon as we got there. 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. … She couldn't walk, couldn't talk and just was talking like a baby.

Coleman was later found on her front lawn, nearly unconscious in freezing temperatures.

The boy who assaulted Parkhurst was sentenced in juvenile court, but prosecutor Robert Rice ultimately dropped all charges against Barnett. Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White told HuffPost on Monday that his department presented a "strong case" to prosecutors, but charges against Barnett were dropped because the girls became uncooperative.

"The victims decided they no longer wanted to participate in the case," White said. "They gave no deposition or statement and invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves."

Rice held a press conference Wednesday amid the public outcry that followed the Kansas City Star's report on the case earlier this week.

At the conference, Rice was asked if the girls faced any sort of potential criminal charges in relation to the case. Rice said "not from me." When asked why the girls would have any reason to plead the Fifth, Rice replied, "I can't go into their minds."

Rice also said the girls fully understood that their refusal to testify meant all charges against Barnett would be dropped. However, Parkhurst told Al Jazeera that she "didn't see how someone could drop those charges."

Daisy Coleman's mother, Melinda Coleman, told CNN on Monday that claims that the girls were uncooperative were "absolutely not true."

Rice also announced Wednesday he has asked the court to appoint a special prosecutor to independently review the case.

Daisy Coleman
Suggest a correction
1,725 Comments

CONVERSATIONS