Newly Released Documents, Tapes From Maryville Teen Alleged Rape Case Reveal New Details
Maryville, Mo., teen accused an older classmate of raping her.
April 3, 2014— -- Newly-released police interrogation tapes and documents tied to a controversial rape allegation case reveal new details about what happened the night when Maryville, Mo., teen Daisy Coleman accused an older high school student of raping her.
Coleman accused Matthew Barnett, then a 17-year-old high school senior and the grandson of a former state representative, of raping her in 2012, and leaving the then-14-year-old drunk and incoherent freshman on her family's front lawn in freezing temperatures.
Barnett, now 19, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of child endangerment this past January.
But just last month, prosecutors released the entire case file, which included interrogation tapes of Barnett talking with a Nodaway County Sheriff's Department investigator.
In the taped interview with police, taken just hours after the alleged assault, Barnett admits to having sex with Coleman but said the two willingly had sex at his house, and then Coleman started drinking in excess afterwards. He also says in the police interview that when he picked Coleman up from her house on the night of Jan. 8, 2012, she appeared "buzzed" but not drunk.
The case file also included July 2012 criminal depositions of Daisy Coleman and her mother, Melinda Coleman, with Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice. In Daisy's interview, she admitted to texting with Barnett about "once a month" before the alleged incident and that "sometimes me and my friends would see if he would bring us alcohol." She also indicated that it was possible that she said she would provide him with sexual favors if he brought her alcohol.
On the night of the alleged assault, text messages extracted from Daisy Coleman's phone show that she and Barnett exchanged texts about getting together to party.
"U wanna come drink wit me and chill," wrote Barnett.
"OMFG. Sweeet," replied Coleman, who later wrote, "do you want me to bring alchol [sic]?"
By all accounts, Coleman drank at least five shots of vodka at Barnett's house. But the critical question is when she drank them because Missouri law states that a 14-year-old girl cannot consent to sex if she's incapacitated.
Throughout the investigation, Barnett did not dispute that he and Coleman had sex, but he insisted it was consensual and that Coleman was not drunk at the time. Another boy at the house told police that Coleman drank heavily after her encounter with Barnett.
On the other hand, Daisy Coleman had always maintained that she snuck out of her house with her then-13-year-old friend after consuming alcohol in her home and was picked up by Barnett. Coleman said then she blacked out after drinking too much and accused Barnett of raping her and dropping her off on her front yard.
The identities of alleged sex assault victims are generally not published, but Coleman's family decided to go public with her identity and accusations.
The case divided the community and the family said they were harassed. Coleman was suspended from the cheerleading team after admitting to drinking and said she was bullied at school. Things got so bad that the family said they were forced to move, but that didn't stop the slew of online attacks.
"The stuff on Facebook and Twitter was just unbelievable, so horrible ... saying stuff like, 'Why don't you slit your wrists,'" Melinda Coleman told "20/20" in a January interview.
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