Anonymous and pals gather in support of girl at centre of rape case
Hundreds turn out after 'Justice for Daisy' social media storm
The hacking group Anonymous led a real world protest last night in support of a young woman at the centre of a rape case that was re-opened just three days ago after the online activists ran a campaign publicising its dismissal.
Hundreds of people gathered in Maryville town square to demand "justice for Daisy Coleman", who claims a boy attacked her while she was drunk and incapacitated at a party in 2012. Coleman alleges that another boy filmed the attack.
Although local police dropped all charges against the two 17-year-old boys who were allegedly involved, Anonymous launched a campaign following a grim article about the case by the Kansas City Star.
"The sheer outrageousness of the Daisy Coleman case is what brought us here today," Courtney Cole, a local politician, told the rally.
"She is not alone," she told the gathered protesters. "Every year, thousands of Missourians are raped and sexually assaulted. It is past time for us as a state to change. No more."
Daisy's story attracted worldwide attention after she published her account of the incident on the confessional website XoJane. Anonymous also publicised her case heavily on Twitter, using the hashtags #justicefordaisy and #opmaryville.
The hacking group has previously taken up the case of a young girl raped in Steubenville, Ohio. Two men were later convicted for this attack.
It has been established that Coleman and her friend Paige*, 13, sneaked out of Coleman's house on 7 January 2012 and went to a party, where they drank to the point of blacking out.
A 15-year-old boy was later charged and sentenced in juvenile court for assaulting the 13-year-old girl.
When the case was publicised, Daisy Coleman's family moved away from Maryville after claiming they were harassed and bullied. Their house later burned down. The cause of the fire has not yet been established.
On Monday, a judge appointed Jean Peters Baker, a Jackson County prosecutor, to re-examine the case. ®
* Coleman's friend has asked several media outlets to refrain from including her last name, which is why we have omitted it here.