Daisy Coleman Speaks Out About Maryville Rape Case
A young teenager was left on her front lawn to freeze after being raped by popular football players at her high school.
Daisy Coleman was 14 years old when she and her friend Paige Parkhurst, 13, snuck out of her house during a sleepover to hang out with football players in 2012, DailyMail.com reports.
Matthew Barnett, now 22, invited the girls to his home. There, the group of athletes -- who called themselves the "wolf pack" -- got both women blackout drunk and raped them in the basement.
After they were done, the boys left Daisy to freeze on her front lawn while she was passed out as temperatures dropped as low as 21 degrees.
Daisy recently spoke in detail about her scarring experience.
Daisy's younger brother Tristan found her in the front yard the morning after she was raped. He heard a scratching sound on the front door and described his sister as "blue and sparkly." He thought she was dead.
Her mother, Melinda, described the devastating moment when they found her daughter outside. She said,
The first thing I noticed was she had frostbite on her hands and feet. It was 21 degrees that night and she was in a T-shirt and sweatpants. Her hair was wet, we've never found out the whole story, but we think she must have thrown up and they washed it and it was frozen to the ground.
Melinda explained she tried to warm her daughter up by giving her a bath, but noticed bruising and redness on her body.
After the abuse became obvious, both Daisy and Paige were taken to the hospital where rape kits were used to determine what happened at Barnett's house. At the time, Daisy's BAC was still at an astonishing 0.13.
The doctor found three tears inside Daisy and concluded she was raped.
Melinda was shocked at the news because the boys who had left Daisy to freeze after raping her used to hang out at Daisy's home.
The "wolf pack" included Jordan Zech, now 24, Nick Groumoutis, now 23, Cole Forney, now 22, and an unnamed juvenile.
These boys would come over and watch football in my living room, I'd make chili for them. They used to come over to our house all the time. Charlie regarded Nick as his best friend. And yet they did this and left Daisy in the dirt.
Although Daisy's brother Charlie considered Nick to be a "best friend," he wasn't fond of Barnett and urged his sister not to communicate with him.
He was right because Barnett raped Daisy while she was incoherent.
Daisy's memory of the night they went to Barnett's house is blurry, but she remembers being separated from Paige among arrival.
She also claims she was given a "bitch cup" and had a second drink before losing all memory of the night.
Paige's memory of the night is different, but just as horrific. She said she was taken into a bedroom by her rapist who had sex with her even though she resisted.
The girls' rape case became well-known in town, but they barely got the justice they deserved.
Although Barnett confessed to sleeping with Daisy, his charges of rape and child endangerment were dismissed since his grandfather was a state representative.
After he was let off the hook, Daisy was ostracized by the community. She and Paige both became suicidal and suffered severe PTSD.
However, Barnett was investigated a second time in January 2014 after a national outcry, and was sentenced to two years probation.
Since then, Daisy -- who is now a sophomore at Missouri Valley College -- has grown from her struggle and revealed more about her case than ever before.
In an effort to help other sexual assault survivors, she created a foundation called SafeBae.org.
The top of the webpage says,
We exist to spark change in the culture by addressing sexual assault and dating violence starting as early as middle and high school.
Both Paige and Daisy struggle to connect with each other after being raped by the "wolf pack," due to re-occurring memories from the night.
However, each of them have forgiven their attackers and are trying to live normal lives post-assault.
Citations: EXCLUSIVE: Frostbite on her hands and feet, her wet hair frozen to the ground, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman was raped and dumped unconscious in her yard by high school footballers. Now she speaks out about her ordeal (DailyMail.com)