MARYVILLE, Mo. — A day after a special prosecutor was named to re-investigate a northwest Missouri teen sexual abuse case, a modest crowd of a few hundred people gathered Tuesday night to show support for a girl whose story has drawn worldwide attention.
The rally on Maryville's courthouse square was organized over the Internet by a women's rights activist from the Kansas City area who used social media to garner support for Daisy Coleman, who said she was 14 when a 17-year-old boy gave her alcohol and sexually assaulted her in January 2012.
Daisy's story generated new attention and an outpouring of responses on social media after a Kansas City Star investigation.
The story struck a nerve when Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice dropped felony charges against the alleged assailant and a second 17-year-old who recorded the incident on his cellphone. Rice has said that the family stopped cooperating, which the family denies, and that there was not enough evidence to move forward with the case. Last week, Rice asked for a special prosecutor.
Courtney Cole, who organized Tuesday's rally, said she wasn't bothered by the modest turnout and pointed to the dozens of reporters conducting interviews. "Even a small turnout is okay," she said. "Just moving the case along makes it a success."