Teen at center of controversial rape case recovering from suicide try

Jan. 8, 2014 at 5:07 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Daisy Coleman, the Missouri teenager harassed by schoolmates after she was allegedly sexually assaulted, tried to kill herself, her family says.

Melinda Coleman revealed her daughter's suicide attempt in a Facebook posting Monday, the Kansas City Star reported. A family friend told the newspaper Daisy is in a children's psychiatric facility in Kansas City.

"It's been heartbreaking for them," Robin Bourland said. "This has been a really long, drawn-out battle, and it's heartbreaking to see something like this happening."

Daisy was 14 when she was allegedly sexually assaulted in Maryville, Mo., by Matthew Barnett, 17, a high school senior and grandson of a former state legislator. Her family said Daisy, drunk and barefoot, was dumped in their yard on a night when the temperature was around freezing after a party at Barnett's home.

The family later moved from Maryville, a town of less than 12,000 100 miles north of Kansas City, to Albany, Mo., an even smaller town about 25 miles away, citing harassment and death threats, the newspaper said. Their house in Maryville was destroyed in a fire after their departure.

Sexual assault and other charges against Barnett were eventually dropped along with charges against another 17-year-old who allegedly used his cellphone to film Barnett having sex with Daisy. Prosecutors said the Coleman family stopped cooperating with them, although the family denies that.

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