Dan ruined your Monday morning with the story about a Missouri woman whose 14-year-old daughter was allegedly plied with alcohol and then allegedly raped by a high school football star, while her daughter's 13-year-old friend was allegedly assaulted in another room. The horrific details dog piled on one another: The woman lost her job after she and her daughter went to the police, the county prosecutor dropped criminal charges against the suspects, and the family's home was burned to the ground.
Yesterday brought a spot of good news to this horrific story. Thanks to international attention (and most likely pressure from the hacker group, Anonymous), the county prosecutor tied to the original case announced that new charges could be filed against the suspects:
In a news conference outside the county courthouse in Maryville, [Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert L.] Rice said he had asked a judge to appoint a special prosecutor in the case...He said he decided to ask for the special prosecutor after witnesses in the case said this week that they would cooperate with the investigation.
“Until that time,” Rice said Wednesday, “the witnesses never told me they were willing to cooperate and testify after they invoked their Fifth Amendment right in a deposition under oath.”
Rice’s account of the witnesses’ cooperation differs from that of Melinda Coleman, mother of one alleged victim, who contended in a story in The Star on Sunday and other media appearances this week that she had willingly spoken with authorities until Rice dropped the two most serious felony charges in March 2012, two months after he’d filed them.
Coleman was happy to hear that the case would have another look.
“I feel like that’s just so great,” she told The Star after Rice’s announcement. “Because at least we’re getting a fair shot. At least our story’s getting heard and not just swept under the rug.”
On Tuesday, Missouri State Attorney General Chris Koster asked prosecutor Rice to join him in requesting the US Circuit Court to convene a grand jury to review the case and determine whether criminal charges should be filed.