The Kansas City Star ran an investigative story Sunday on the alleged attack in January 2012 and the local district attorney's decision to drop the charges against the older teen Daisy Coleman said sexually assaulted her sparked a firestorm
on the Internet. City officials, prosecutors, the Missouri attorney general and even the University of Central Missouri, where the young man is now a student, say they have been inundated with angry e-mails and telephone calls.
"It's been extremely negative," Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel told the Star.
Melissa Coleman, who allowed the Star to use her and her daughter's names, said she found Daisy, then 14, outside on a freezing night almost unconscious. When she noticed signs Daisy had been assaulted, she reported the case to police.
The 17-year-old was charged with sexually assaulting Daisy and endangering the welfare of a child. Another 17-year-old was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and a 15-year-old boy faced juvenile charges.
Two months later, most of the charges were dropped. The Colemans, facing a backlash that blamed Daisy for anything that had happened to her, left town, and their home in Maryville, which was empty and up for sale, burned six months ago.
Melissa Coleman said she hopes the case will be reopened. So far that is not happening.
The attorney general's office says the decision is in the hands of local prosecutors.
Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White, who once appeared to believe he had a strong case, now says the Colemans scuttled the prosecution by refusing to cooperate with the investigation, something Melissa Coleman denies.
"I'd like to see some justice," she told CNN Monday.
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