Missouri Lt. Governor Calls For Grand Jury In Maryville Rape Case

Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White said everyone involved in the case "tried to do everything they could to find justice for these young girls." He blamed the Colemans for not cooperating.

A spokeswoman for Koster's office said Tuesday that it had no authority under state law to reopen the investigation on its own.

Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White said everyone involved in the case "tried to do everything they could to find justice for these young girls." He blamed the Colemans for not cooperating.

"The family decided they didn't want to cooperate," he told KQTV-TV. "They no longer wanted to participate. They absolutely refused to aid in their case in any way."

House Speaker Tim Jones also said the attorney general should consider intervening. Jones disagreed with suggestions that Koster was prohibited from doing so.

Melinda Coleman refuted authorities' claims that she and her daughter stopped cooperating with investigators, and said suggestions that she and her daughter were uncooperative are lies.

"How do you think we didn't want to cooperate?" Coleman asked. "We went to get a rape kit done. I wrote a statement, and my daughter gave a statement to the police."

Coleman said that no depositions were conducted before the felony charges were dropped. She said she was asked but refused to invoke the Fifth Amendment before a planned May 31, 2012, deposition.

The case is being blown out of proportion, state Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville, who represents Rex Barnett's former district, told the Missouri Digital News.

Robert Sundell, an attorney who represented the teen accused of assaulting Daisy Coleman, said in a written statement that while many may find his former client's behavior "reprehensible," the legal issue is whether a crime occurred. He said the investigation raised questions about whether the 14-year-old was "incapacitated during the encounter." He also said the charges were dropped after the accusers' stories changed during depositions.

"It's making it sound like we as a community are not a good place to live," he said. "That is the farthest thing from the truth."

A peaceful protest in support of Daisy Coleman is planned for Oct. 22, at the Nodaway County Courthouse.

As for the Maryville case, questions and comments about the decision not to prosecute may be directed to Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice, whose contact information is listed on his county website. The phone number is (660) 582-8285. His stated mission is "To pursue justice and represent the people of Nodaway County in a professional and ethical manner."

The Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office can be reached at attorney.general@ago.mo.gov and (573) 751-3321.

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About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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