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Was justice served in the Maryville rape case? Nearly two years ago on a cold January night, then 14-year-old Daisy Coleman snuck out her mother's home in the small Missouri town to party with some teenage boys. What happened next has been the subject of criminal charges, dueling stories and a flurry of national headlines. KCUR broke this story in July. Since then, we have offered comprehensive coverage.

Sexual Assault In Maryville: A Timeline

Peggy Lowe

Read our full investigative report on this story here.

January 8, 2012

1 a.m. — Daisy Coleman, 14, and a 13-year-old girlfriend sneak out of the Coleman’s home after texting with Matthew Barnett, 17. They go through a basement window at the Barnett home and begin drinking out of what is referred to as the “bitch cup.” Including Barnett, present were Nick Groumoutis, Cole Forney, Jordan Zech and a minor boy.

2 a.m. – Daisy Coleman and her friend are returned to the Coleman home, the younger girl told by the boys to go in and let Daisy stay outside and “vomit.” Daisy is propped up beside the house.

5 a.m. – Daisy Coleman discovered on the front porch of the family home.  She’s wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt, her hair wet and frozen. Her shoes, purse and cell phone are later  found by a Nodaway County sheriff’s investigator in the yard. The temperature was 30 degrees.

6:05 a.m.  — Deputy Ian Myers sent to Coleman home on sexual assault complaint. He finds Daisy Coleman incoherent and discovered five plastic bottles that had contained alcohol. Myers also takes as evidence Daisy’s clothes and cell phone. Texts from Matt Barnett are found on Daisy’s phone.  Daisy is taken to St. Francis Hospital. While there, Melinda Coleman tells Myers that Daisy’s friend was also assaulted. She is taken to the hospital, too.

9 a.m. – Among other injuries, Daisy Coleman’s rape exam shows three tears, 2-4 inches in length, which is positive for rape. Her blood alcohol is .14. (.08-.10 blood alcohol level is considered legally drunk.)

7:50 a.m. – Melinda and Daisy Coleman are interviewed at the hospital by Sheriff’s Capt. David Glidden.

9:30 a.m. – The minor girl’s mother is interviewed at the hospital by Glidden. The underage boy, who admits to having sex with the girl, was taken into custody at his home and later taken to the Juvenile Detention Center in St. Joseph, Mo.

10:25 a.m. – Sheriff’s investigators take photos of vomit in the grass outside Coleman home.

11 a.m. – Barnett is interviewed by Glidden at the sheriff’s office. He admitted he knew Daisy had been drinking before he had sex with her, but that she was only “buzzed” at the time and later drank more. He said he used a condom, which he later threw out of his car window as he was taking the girls home. Daisy was crying on the ride home, Barnett said. Barnett’s cell phone is seized. Groumoutis and Forney are taken to the sheriff’s office for interviews. Zech refuses to make a statement.

1:25 p.m. – A search warrant is served at the Barnett home and evidence (bedsheet and blanket, Gatorade bottles, a bottle of Bacardi “Big Apple,” panties, boxers and red plastic cup) was taken.

2:10 p.m. — Groumoutis is interviewed by Glidden. He said his iPhone was used by Zech to video Barnett and Daisy Coleman. The video was 5-10 seconds long and he had already deleted it from his phone, Groumoutis said. The phone is seized.

January 9, 2012

11:15 a.m. — Warrant for arrest of Barnett is served while he was in custody at the Nodaway County Jail.

11:30 a.m. — Trevor Schafer, a friend of Barnett, is interviewed by Glidden. Barnett called him to ask to drive Daisy Coleman and her friend home, he said. Schafer said he drove Barnett, the girls, and the minor boy back to the Coleman’s home. He said Daisy was crying and seemed drunk. Once the girls were dropped off, the minor boy and Barnett had a conversation about how Charlie Coleman, Daisy’s older brother, would “kill them for having sex,” then talked about telling Charlie they found Daisy drunk at a party and dropped her off at home, Schafer said.

January 13, 2012

10:20 a.m. — Zech is questioned at the sheriff’s office by Glidden, at first exercising his right to remain silent. He then decides to talk and admits that he used Groumoutis’ phone to take the video of Daisy Coleman and Barnett, though he said he didn’t think they were having sex. He said Groumoutis then deleted the video. He was arrested while in custody.

February 16, 2012

12 p.m. – Zech is interviewed by Glidden, with his attorney present. He said Daisy Coleman and Barnett went into the bedroom twice and that she drank several-- five to 10 shots of vodka. He admitted to videotaping the two kissing, naked from the waist down. Zech said he didn’t notice if Daisy Coleman was crying, but that she was very drunk and could not walk.

March 13, 2012

Sexual assault charge against Barnett is dropped. Sexual exploitation charge against Zech is dropped.

July 11, 2013

KCUR airs investigative piece on the rape case.

October 13, 2013

The Kansas City Star publishes investigative piece on Maryville case and the story is picked up by Gawker, a popular news and gossip site. Anonymous, the online “hacktivist,” takes on the case as a cause, taking it to Twitter with a hashtag of #OpMaryville and likening it to the infamous Steubenville, Ohio, rape case.

October 16, 2013

After Maryville is deluged with a firestorm of negative attention, Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice, who had earlier dropped the rape charge, asked a court to appoint a special prosecutor.

October 18, 2013

Daisy Coleman posts her story online at xojane.com, a teen site, vowing “I’m not done fighting yet.”

October 21, 2013

Associate Circuit Judge Glen Dietrich, the lone Democrat in the Fourth Circuit judicial district, appoints Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County prosecutor, as a special prosecutor to reinvestigate the case. She promises to review the case “without fear and without favor.”

October 23, 2013

Quieted by the appointment of a special prosecutor, about 350 people show up for a peaceful rally in Maryville, organized with a Facebook page dubbed "Justice for Daisy” and a Twitter hashtag #Justice4Daisy.

Sources: Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office; Nodaway County Circuit Court; Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice; Coleman family; St. Joseph News-Press; Kansas City Star, Gawker; xojane.com. 

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
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