Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice has bowed under pressure and will ask a court to find a special prosecutor to reopen the Maryville rape case in Missouri. He said Wednesday night that the time was right to reopen the case since the alleged rape victim, Daisy Coleman, appeared on CNN saying she would testify against her alleged rapist Matthew Barnett.
Rice implied to KCTV 5 that Coleman and her friend Paige Parkhurst, who also alleges she was raped the same night, were uncooperative and caused their own case to be dismissed: "Until that time, the witnesses never told me that they were willing to cooperate and testify after they invoked their 5th Amendment right in a deposition under oath. They understood that when they at that time invoked their 5th Amendment right, that by doing so was going to force the dismissal of the case, they understood that."
Rice also told KCTV that he followed the correct procedures when handling the case. City manager for Maryville Greg McDaniel told reporters that Maryville officials are glad the case will be reopened after all of the negative press surrounding the incident.
"Every day that goes by without further judicial action or explanation is detrimental to the lives and livelihood of the citizens of Maryville," McDaniel told reporters. "This was an unfortunate incident that cast a shadow over our community." The incident was brought to national attention this weekend after the Kansas City Star published an investigative report on the alleged rape, dropped charges and the subsequent bullying Coleman and her family received from townspeople. Hacktivist group Anonymous announced an attack on the town of Maryville after the article was published and Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder urged prosecutors to reopen the case after he read the piece.