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Nightmare in Maryville
October 15, 2013 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Nightmare in Maryville - The Kansas City Star investigates the backlash against the victims family after rape charges were brought (and dropped) against local atheletes. The pattern of victim blaming and local indiference have brought comparisons to the Steubenville, Ohio case (previously) and anger on the internet.  Meanwhile the Grand Jury investigation into Steubenville has brought it's first charges against an adult involved with the cover-up.
posted by Artw (168 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
This whole thing makes me sick. The fact that this monster is walking around a college campus is disturbing. I hope he doesn't get away because this girl won't be the last for him. The other thing that bothers me is that his grandpa was a fucking state rep and from what I have heard Marysville (like every other shit hole with "ville" at the end) is run by this fool's family and a few others. I wish we all had one big flashlight so we could shine it directly on small town cesspools like this. Either way, anon is on the case so I'm sure this whole thing will just become an even bigger mess.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:04 PM on October 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Special place in hell.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:08 PM on October 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Some people in this country are so worried about "Sharia law" being instituted... this is the same thing, only worse because it actually happens here, all the time. A young woman went off somewhere with a man? Drive her out of town, fire her family, burn down their house. The facts of what actually occurred don't matter.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:08 PM on October 15, 2013 [88 favorites]


I read about this yesterday, and it occurred to me that if you are a teenage boy of a certain status, you can get away with rape, unless the ENTIRE internet actively shames your community to do something about it. (And sometimes, even then.)
posted by MoxieProxy at 12:09 PM on October 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Also: Anonymous is launching a campaign
posted by munyeca at 12:09 PM on October 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


From the Gawker article on this case:

And Matthew Barnett, the young man accused by Coleman of raping her? He's attending the University of Central Missouri and apparently having a great time:

In a recent retweet, he expressed his views on women — and their desire for his sexual attentions — this way:

“If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D."

posted by MoxieProxy at 12:13 PM on October 15, 2013


“If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D."

...I don't even understand that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:17 PM on October 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


D = Dick
posted by futz at 12:18 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man, that's a lot of effort to type...for a really dumb thing to say.

I hope the fucker gets hounded out of college, frankly.
posted by notsnot at 12:21 PM on October 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


The article by the Kansas City Star makes me realize what an important role longform newspaper articles play. Without their bringing this to light, this case, like so many before it, would be ignored by the internet (and everyone else not directly impacted).
posted by ldthomps at 12:23 PM on October 15, 2013 [91 favorites]


Some people in this country are so worried about "Sharia law" being instituted... this is the same thing, only worse because it actually happens here, all the time. A young woman went off somewhere with a man? Drive her out of town, fire her family, burn down their house. The facts of what actually occurred don't matter.
********

These people just rape girls. They don't bother to marry them. They throw them away like trash.

Then they act like nothing happened.
It makes me totally hate school athletic programs even more.

None of the people in those towns get to talk about how oppressed women are elsewhere. Maybe the drone strikes are hitting the wrong people.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:23 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I actually spent every summer of high school in Maryville, it was a half hour from the town where I grew up. It's been bothering me since I heard this this morning, because the awful thing is I'm not surprised. At all. I mean, rape is awful and unfortunately happens too much, everywhere. But the town trying to cover it up? The kids at the school taunting her and praising the rapist? It's just like the kids from Maryville to do that. If it'd happened a few decades ago, I'm sure their parents would've been doing it too.
posted by trogdole at 12:27 PM on October 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


There's been a wave of these stories lately, which just make me wonder how often these things happened BEFORE the current iteration of the internet made news of them so easy to spread.
posted by lunasol at 12:31 PM on October 15, 2013 [42 favorites]


The article by the Kansas City Star makes me realize what an important role longform newspaper articles play. Without their bringing this to light, this case, like so many before it, would be ignored by the internet (and everyone else not directly impacted).
posted by ldthomps at 12:23 PM on October 15
[5 favorites −] [Flagged]


This is a FANTASTIC and true comment. I had an accident flagging it.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:33 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's just like the kids from Maryville to do that. If it'd happened a few decades ago, I'm sure their parents would've been doing it too.

And they probably did. Social media has the unintended side effect of making all of this stuff more visible, for better or worse.

(on preview, what lunasol said.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:33 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope the twerps that raped those girls get all the negative attention they deserve. Also, a special "fuck you" shout out for the assholes in Maryville who think this outrage was OK. Here's hopin' you all get YOURS!
posted by Vibrissae at 12:35 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't even believe in God, and I believe in the special place in hell for everyone who made this family's life hard.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:38 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's great that I have more faith that a group of amoral hackers who explicitly operate solely for their own amusement will seek justice (or at least vengeance) for the victim, than I do that actual law enforcement will.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:38 PM on October 15, 2013 [44 favorites]


Every time I hear some coach pontificate about how "Football builds character", I think about shit like this which seems to happen over and over, and wonder exactly what sort of character they mean.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:40 PM on October 15, 2013 [49 favorites]


At a dance competition, Melinda Coleman says, a girl arrived wearing a homemade shirt: Matt 1, Daisy 0.

Now I'm not saying that reeducation-through-labor camps are the solution to EVERY problem buuuuuut
posted by theodolite at 12:41 PM on October 15, 2013 [43 favorites]


Big props to the Kansas City Star for publishing this story, but it's kind of amazing how much gross language made it into the article as a result of the reporter bending over backward not to use the word "rape." ("Bedding scenes"? Bedding? Are you kidding me?) And so much that makes it sound as if these girls were the problem -- "And then there was Daisy" (dramatic piano chords in background), "she'd captured the attention," "their activities were a bit more brazen."
posted by ostro at 12:42 PM on October 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


So, one of the justifications I've heard for federal hate crime laws, which are often attacked on free thought/free speech grounds, is that they allow the federal government to step in and prosecute crimes that local authorities let slide because racist sheriff gonna racist or whatever. I wonder whether we need some equivalent for sexual crimes that local authorities don't want to prosecute. So that someone prosecutes.
posted by prefpara at 12:42 PM on October 15, 2013 [28 favorites]


Mainly, I hope that the perpetrators and their many enablers come out of this with a newfound understanding of exactly what they've done, and an unescapable awareness of what they are, and that the rest of society marks them as such for the entire rest of their lives, whether through prison terms, fines, or just good-old-fashioned ostracism. And I hope that the victims and the citizens who were too cowed by the good ol' boy power structure to say anything are given whatever comfort the law can provide, and have a chance to remake their town into a place where this kind of thing can never happen again.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:42 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I so don't understand this stuff.

First the rape, of course. But secondly, what possesses people to do the shaming and the home destruction? Maybe I am just a giant girly man or something, but this shit, and I use that word for a specific reason, just makes zero sense to me.

Not to mention, it IS a sad day when I am cheering for Anon with no reservations.
posted by Samizdata at 12:46 PM on October 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


On the bright side, this is getting attention. There are more negative repercussions now than there was before the internet. People give a shit. Its harder to keep these crimes completely hidden.

After the Steubenville case, I saw an op-ed on CNN that was titled, 'this is what rape culture looks like.' I mean, an op-ed on CNN! about rape culture? That would be unthinkable, even five years ago!
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:49 PM on October 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


I so don't understand this stuff.

First the rape, of course. But secondly, what possesses people to do the shaming and the home destruction?


If you admit that Johnny Standup, with his "good home" and "good parents" and standing as a Pillar of the Community, did this, then you kind of have to admit that your entire Community of which he is a Pillar is broken. Clearly, it's not in your mind, so the accuser is the one that's broken and must be got rid of.

Tribalism is a gut reaction.
posted by Etrigan at 12:49 PM on October 15, 2013 [55 favorites]


Every time I hear some coach pontificate about how "Football builds character", I think about shit like this which seems to happen over and over, and wonder exactly what sort of character they mean.

Hey, they never said what kind of character.

New York Magazine noted that the girl was 14 years old. I have a daughter that age. And yet the vigilantism and public shaming is directed against the victim.
posted by Gelatin at 12:53 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think we should consider passing a law. Call it the Steubenville-Maryville act or something. If a school, town, or municipality is found to have systematically engaged in covering up or failing to prosecute serious crimes committed by athletes, shaming or bullying victims, or retaliating against them, that school, town, or municipality must immediately suspend all school-associated athletic events for a period of five years or lose all federal educational funding for that time.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:53 PM on October 15, 2013 [60 favorites]


school, town, or municipality must immediately suspend all school-associated athletic events for a period of five years or lose all federal educational funding for that time.

Do you mean they get to choose? 'Cause I know which one they'd pick.
posted by modernserf at 12:55 PM on October 15, 2013 [32 favorites]


This makes me so angry. The worst part is that the culture that supports this behavior is not limited to this town, or even to small-town America, tempting as that is to believe. When we turn a blind eye to commonplace behaviors like gay baiting and sexual harrassment, and call people who complain about this stuff "oversensitive", we encourage this behavior and embolden kids to go further and further. If we really want to stop this stuff, even burning Maryville to the ground won't do it.
posted by pizzazz at 12:56 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


modernserf: " school, town, or municipality must immediately suspend all school-associated athletic events for a period of five years or lose all federal educational funding for that time.

Do you mean they get to choose? 'Cause I know which one they'd pick.
"

And then attack the victim all the harder for having cost the town their federal money.
posted by Karmakaze at 12:57 PM on October 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


Also, with the recent attention that football has been receiving as an intrinsically dangerous sport, I can only hope/expect that the hyper-masculine/rape culture of high school football will slowly die out.

So that's good.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:59 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


But secondly, what possesses people to do the shaming and the home destruction?

For many people, it's heroes and villains, and who the crowd is holding up as each. When the prosecutor dropped the charges and the Vet Clinic fired the mother, it was too much to live with a miscarriage of justice, so cognitively, it became that whoreteen temptress and her shitty mother needing to be driven out, because if Branden's not found guilty, then he's an innocent angel wronged.
posted by fatbird at 1:00 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


My wife and I have been living in this area since 2006. None of this should come as any kind of surprise. Jocks are worshiped here. It's a sick, ingrown culture, and it sucks.
posted by metagnathous at 1:00 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


modernserf: Do you mean they get to choose? 'Cause I know which one they'd pick.

I'm pretty sure that, as much as everyone loves football, in the fight of 'Lose football vs. massive tax increase', football is going to lose.
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:00 PM on October 15, 2013


I just keep turning it over and over in my head. What could the hook for federal intervention be? What if you had some number of women claiming intentional non-prosecution of their rapes by the same local authority? Like, if five or more women make that claim about City X, federal law FUCK THAT is triggered and the federal prosecutor investigates to see whether there has been a discriminatory lack of enforcement of laws criminalizing sex crimes? Because that's sexist, so arguably an equal protection violation?

I'm half serious. The basis for willfully choosing not to prosecute multiple rapists is entrenched sexism in government, which is a civil rights violation. Maybe this should be a law.
posted by prefpara at 1:04 PM on October 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that, as much as everyone loves football, in the fight of 'Lose football vs. massive tax increase', football is going to lose.

I wouldn't take that bet.

Which is why I'd say the better approach would be to say they automatically default all matches for a set period.
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on October 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


How about, if anyone is found to have engaged in a coverup of a crime of any type, whether it involves the football star or weird old guy down the street, they should be prosecuted. Forget football, the DA needs to go to jail.
posted by zug at 1:07 PM on October 15, 2013 [35 favorites]


In America it's "forfeit all games".
posted by notyou at 1:07 PM on October 15, 2013


MisantropicPainforest: "I can only hope/expect that the hyper-masculine/rape culture of high school football will slowly die out."

Slowly? *spits*
posted by notsnot at 1:09 PM on October 15, 2013


notsnot: "MisantropicPainforest: "I can only hope/expect that the hyper-masculine/rape culture of high school football will slowly die out."

Slowly? *spits*
"

starts thinking about relativistic speeds in a gravity well...

Dunno, I used to hang out with a lot of high school football players across a broad demographic stripe, and, to the best of my knowledge, none of them ever raped ANYONE.
posted by Samizdata at 1:12 PM on October 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I hope the twerps that raped those girls get all the negative attention they deserve. Also, a special "fuck you" shout out for the assholes in Maryville who think this outrage was OK. Here's hopin' you all get YOURS!

I never assumed the negative attention would be in the form of restaurant reviews.

I went here for a simple burger. An employee by the name of Matt told me that I wanted the D. I did not want the D. In the end, some very subpar sausage was forced on me and my car was set on fire. Never coming here again.

There is way too much crap about this on my facebook feed. It makes me feel a bit better that I've only seen on person say the victim was lying.
posted by trogdole at 1:12 PM on October 15, 2013 [23 favorites]





Football does NOT build character. It never did and never will.

Now there are kids with character who play football.

But few DEVELOP character as a result of playing football.

Just my opinion based on almost fifty years experience with high schoolers.

posted by notreally at 1:15 PM on October 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


While reading about this last night on Jezebel, I found this link for a fundraiser for Daisy and her family, but I didn't see much of a way to verify anything about who was running it, how it was managed and if it really was going to the Colemans. Anyone know how to look into this?

I would be more than happy to do my little part to help with the recovery here if it's all legit.

Sadly, donating to a "ruin the lives of her attackers and the people protecting them" fund would probably be illegal. Can't really see anything wrong with contributing to a positive response, though.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:15 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mitrovarr: "I'm pretty sure that, as much as everyone loves football, in the fight of 'Lose football vs. massive tax increase', football is going to lose."

Who said anything about raising taxes? They'll just slash music, and other arts programs, fire the real teachers, and force the coaches to take on more teaching roles.


This article made me sick.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 1:16 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


scaryblackdeath, apparently IndieGoGo has contacted Daisy. She apparently said that she didn't want the money, but it could be donated to the no-kill animal shelter in Kansas City where she got her dog. I read that elsewhere on the internet, though, so who knows.
posted by Corinth at 1:18 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


After Paterno and Steubnville, nothing awful on the sports/violence axis really surprises me anymore. Which is sad, because I think that everyone needs exercise and a hobby, but this... Ugh.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:19 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Kansas City NPR Station actually covered this back in July, but didn't get much traction. I'm glad to see the Star's article getting some attention, despite the bad headline. (What's next, can we start calling murders "gun encounters"?)

Having grown up about 30 miles from Maryville (closer to Albany), I can't say much of this surprises me. Rural Northwest Missouri is good at covering up for its own and keeping skeletons in the closet.
posted by jferg at 1:19 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you admit that Johnny Standup, with his "good home" and "good parents" and standing as a Pillar of the Community, did this, then you kind of have to admit that your entire Community of which he is a Pillar is broken. Clearly, it's not in your mind, so the accuser is the one that's broken and must be got rid of.

I think it's actually much more than that.

I think there's a serious difference of opinion, regionally, and between rural areas and urban areas, of what rape is. Personally, I ascribe to the "informed and enthusiastic consent" model, but I understand that's a little high. But others have different standards of what rape looks like - it involves physical force, for example, or it only happens if it's the first time they've had sex, or what have you. These are older standards, and one we've done away with in larger areas, but that lingers in the pockets of the country.

In many pockets of the country, "liquoring a girl up" is not considered rape - it's not rape unless you slip a roofie in. If they voluntarily consume the alcohol, then they're considered to be consenting. THEY ARE WRONG! But this is how they consider it.

And so I think that people in the town thought, not, "Oh, he can't have done this", but "Of course a fine, all-American boy wants to stick his penis in lots of girls. That's what red-blooded American boys do. Every girl knows that. If those girls snuck out of the house and into their beds at 1AM in the morning, that's what they were looking for. How dare they then turn around on the boys for what everyone knows boys do?"

Again, THIS IS WRONG. But these are the cultural expectations. And I think that we need to focus less on "This is a coverup" and more on "How the fuck do we change these cultural expectations?"
posted by corb at 1:21 PM on October 15, 2013 [84 favorites]


And I think that we need to focus less on "This is a coverup" and more on "How the fuck do we change these cultural expectations?"

Not to take away from your broader points, but I think it's time America learned to walk and chew gum at the same time. We need to change the cultural expectations, AND we need to punish the perpetrators, AND we need to support the survivors, AND we need to punish those who cover the whole thing up. All of it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:23 PM on October 15, 2013 [95 favorites]


I think that we need to focus less on "This is a coverup" and more on "How the fuck do we change these cultural expectations?"
Doesn't part of changing those expectations come from making people acknowledge the behaviour they're supporting? The coverup is what helps people say “Oh, she changed her mind later” so they avoid thinking of themselves as the kind of people who help rapists rather than their victims.
posted by adamsc at 1:27 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know of a prominent NFL player who:

a) seems like a good dude
b) has daughters
and c) has done some amount of advocacy in the past

I am going to write a letter to ask for their public support of Daisy Coleman; I just need to know who the best person to address it to is.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:50 PM on October 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


corb, that is some insightful stuff. Thanks for sharing.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:54 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chris Kluwe seems to have time on his hands.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:54 PM on October 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was also going to name Kluwe as a fellow who might know (or be) such a player; I can't say whether Dale Lolley (sports reporter who covers the Steelers) would be able to name a relevant player or not, but he'd be easy to reach through his blog.
posted by mr. digits at 1:57 PM on October 15, 2013


Yeah, Kluwe seems perfect for this.
posted by brundlefly at 1:58 PM on October 15, 2013


I am going to write a letter to ask for their public support of Daisy Coleman; I just need to know who the best person to address it to is.

Perhaps Arian Foster.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:58 PM on October 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Does anyone know of a prominent NFL player who:

a) seems like a good dude
b) has daughters
and c) has done some amount of advocacy in the past


Chris Kluwe: check, check (2), check
posted by filthy light thief at 1:59 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


BitterOldPunk: great call. He seems like a decent dude. Thanks. The only problem with Kluwe -- I don't think he's playing this year.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:59 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having grown up about 30 miles from Maryville (closer to Albany), I can't say much of this surprises me. Rural Northwest Missouri is good at covering up for its own and keeping skeletons in the closet.

I'm from Albany, too, and I agree with this. My impression of why this happened is based much more on that kid's family history and reputation than the fact that he played football.

When I was growing up in small town Northwest Missouri my family was one of the Big Ones around town, although most of us are gone (or dead) now, and I remember very clearly even as a young child feeling sort of famous because of my last name. Small towns have a very weird, insular, and almost caste-like feel to them - and that's a big reason why my parents left town for good in the 80s. I think it's getting even worse, though, as the few who somehow manage to stay behind and find viable jobs in those dying communities dig in even deeper.
posted by something something at 2:00 PM on October 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Also, Brendon Ayanbadejo seems like a pretty stand-up guy, not sure if he's currently active.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:02 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never assumed the negative attention would be in the form of restaurant reviews

My favorite thing here is, nestled in all of the recent one-star reviews mentioning rape, there is one lone guy who seems to genuinely be complaining about the food.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:03 PM on October 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


So, while "The write mean reviews on Yelp!" arm of Anonymous is what's currently getting all the attention I'm real curious what is going to happen when the "publicly release of a whole bunch of e-mails the county prosecutor thought were safely deleted" division gets involved. Not that I'm pro vigilante justice, but "Anonymous is like the T-rex at the end of Jurassic Park: it's not heroic, and I wouldn't want it to ever notice me, but I cheered when it took down those fucking velociraptors."
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:03 PM on October 15, 2013 [46 favorites]


The sheer anger and bullying that goes on online and even in public forums is shocking these days. I don't know where it comes from but if you appear to be not 100 percent in agreement with some groups, they paint you as an enemy and feel free to attack at will. Recently I was at a press conference, clearly a dog and pony show, that I would have written that way if political opponents hadn't showed up and screamed down the speakers at every opportunity. "What party do you belong to" "Are you a 501(c3)" (I'm not kidding). "Thugs." "Assassins" and "Criminals" etc., were just a few of the things the obviously organized group was shouting every time someone tried to speak. When I wrote that, I was accused of lying, of having written things I clearly didn't write and harassed at a another public event. It is an ugly ugly world out there and it seems to be getting worse.
posted by etaoin at 2:19 PM on October 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think it's getting even worse, though, as the few who somehow manage to stay behind and find viable jobs in those dying communities dig in even deeper.

I think it's also largely part and parcel with the general sentiment that American culture (or really, their understanding of it as a monolithic and homogeneous thing) is under attack, and that the same people who don't "respect the culture," however racist/sexist/etc it may seem want to strip all Americans of their values. This is paranoid nonsense, but the deadenders aren't really thinking clearly about this. A good portion of them will die out relatively soon, but that's not going to solve the culture problem.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:28 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The sheer anger and bullying that goes on online and even in public forums is shocking these days. I don't know where it comes from...

Have you not paid attention to the rise of ultra-conservative media and the whole "If you're not with us, you're against us" attitude in conservative politics over the past 20-30 years? Their entire modus is to gin-up anger in everything. Influence and rule by fear and anger. That shit has repercussions, and what you describe is but one result. Add to that the long-term economic decline for a growing number of people, and you end up with a shit-ton of people with a lot of rage looking for a target.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:36 PM on October 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


There's been a wave of these stories lately, which just make me wonder how often these things happened BEFORE the current iteration of the internet made news of them so easy to spread.

Surprisingly often.

In my small town, there was at least one instance of a gang rape in my hometown during my freshman year in high school. I know of two others that happened after I graduated and there was one instance that my dad talked about that happened before I was born. The one that happened during my high school career, the young woman, after she got out of the hospital, quit school and eventually her family left town. The young men involved continued about their lives as if nothing had happened.

At one point, a female friend of mine was talking to one of the guys involved and they even went on a few dates. The second her parents heard his name, she was grounded and not able to date or go out with him. My friend group was pretty divided into the kids that believed the guys who said the girl was into it and those of us who thought it was bullshit. Those of us in the bullshit group, made an effort to never be alone with those guys or even be in a small group with them. I, personally, would leave a party if more than one of them showed up. After my friend was ungrounded, she fell solidly into the bullshit camp. Those that believed the guys, would still make little subtle jokes and digs at the guys about consent and so forth.

At graduation, when one of the guys involved walked across the stage, half the senoir class coughed "RAPER" as his name was called. The other four guys weren't in our grade or had already graduated.

From what I can tell from Facebook, at least three of them are married and have kids. One is youth minister. No idea what happened to the girl.
posted by teleri025 at 2:38 PM on October 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


Anonymous, as someone has said before, is the id of the internet. It's young, male, libertarian and pseudo-intellectual. Considering the commonalities of the Steubenville and Maryville cases, I'm pretty sure that this isn't so much a willingness to defend wronged young women as a burning hatred of jocks for their ability to get away with everything. Nonetheless, for what it's worth, it's certainly acting in the role of the T-rex after the velociraptors.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:41 PM on October 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


One is a youth minister.

Well, now I can see A) how anticlericalism comes about and B) a red mist.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:44 PM on October 15, 2013 [38 favorites]


Given Anonymous' previous record, I'd bet this is less about jocks for them than it is about authority figures.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:50 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anonymous, as someone has said before, is the id of the internet. It's young, male, libertarian and pseudo-intellectual. Considering the commonalities of the Steubenville and Maryville cases, I'm pretty sure that this isn't so much a willingness to defend wronged young women as a burning hatred of jocks for their ability to get away with everything. Nonetheless, for what it's worth, it's certainly acting in the role of the T-rex after the velociraptors.

This is difficult for me. My first reaction after reading the article was "If there's any justice in this world, that fucking rapist will turn up dead within the week", but obviously as much as I'd want bad things to happen to these fucking horrifically awful wastes of skin, I can't actually cheer for the justice of the mob. I want to see the T-Rex tear these velociraptors apart, but more than that (for all our sakes) I want there not to be a T-Rex.

What we need is some kind of system that fairly and impartially dispenses justice. A justice system, if you will. So how do we get from what we have now, which only stumbles upon justice very occasionally by total accident, to that?

Also, on a perhaps related note, as soon as I saw the phrase "passion for high school football" I knew exactly what had happened and how the story would turn out. How is can this pattern be so obvious and yet nobody acts on it?
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:53 PM on October 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I used to hang out with a lot of high school football players across a broad demographic stripe, and, to the best of my knowledge, none of them ever raped ANYONE.

The point isn't that athletes are all rapists, it's that athletes -- let's face it, football players -- who ARE rapists get away with it, with the full support of the community.

School football in colleges and increasingly in high schools is the most powerful economic and cultural force in a lot of places, and it is virtually impossible in that circumstance to hold people accountable -- either criminal kids or, worse, the adults who enable and protect them no matter what.

The system in place to protect these kids is impermeable. Colleges have armies of lawyers standing by, waiting for the first hint of trouble . The first calls are always to the lawyer and the publicist, not the police. The system is spreading to high schools, now, too, as coaches and athletic directors become more important. These players aren't just students -- they're not hardly students at all -- they are economic assets that must be protected. Your 14-year-old daughter? Expendable. The whole town knows this like they know the price of a gallon of gas.

Face it, in some of these places, the 1% of the 1% that make it in professional sports are the only ones who are going to escape the black hole of these desperate little towns, and even in the big cities there are enormous numbers of people who will volunteer to punish the victims legally or otherwise. We here in Seattle, some of us, remember Jerramy Stevens and the girl he anally raped in the mud outside his frat house, or his teammate who broke his wife's arm in one of the innumerable beatings he delivered over a five-year period. Public opinion was solidly in favor of the gridiron heroes. Just win, baby.
posted by Fnarf at 2:54 PM on October 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


To be fair, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZgelica is a pretty libidinous lass.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:04 PM on October 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Dunno, I used to hang out with a lot of high school football players across a broad demographic stripe, and, to the best of my knowledge, none of them ever raped ANYONE.

I thought this about a group of people I hung out with for about 3 years. Then I got subpoenaed to testify against one of them regarding initial grooming behaviour.

You don't really know who rapes except when there are stupid rapists or really brave victims.
posted by srboisvert at 3:05 PM on October 15, 2013 [55 favorites]


I would support making certain instances of Rape a federal crime like Hate Crimes. Seems to make sense. Hopefully one day it will be equally rare.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:07 PM on October 15, 2013


prefpara: I just keep turning it over and over in my head. What could the hook for federal intervention be?

Hopefully an audit of the chain of custody of the items taken in the raid. Recovering clothing, alcohol, phones, etc, presumably full of evidence. Charges get dropped for lack of evidence. Reading between the lines, it seems like these things vanished from police custody at some point.
posted by dr_dank at 3:09 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let me say, as the son of a small-town football coach who would agree with me, a few well-publicized castrations would nip this shit in the bud.
posted by echocollate at 3:18 PM on October 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


You don't really know who rapes except when there are stupid rapists or really brave victims.

In freshman or sophomore year of high school, the sex-ed/anti-drug class did a short lesson on sexual harassment and rape. The teacher said that one in some horribly low number of girls had been raped by age 16. I counted the girls in the room. Two or three of them, according to the statistic, had been raped. The statistic on the number of boys who had raped someone didn't follow, but the statistic given to us implied that at least one of the boys in the room numbered among them.

At least one person whom I like and whose company I've enjoyed has probably raped somebody. I can't know which ones. The thought chilled me then and it chills me now.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:19 PM on October 15, 2013 [19 favorites]


It is a mildly hopeful sign that the case presented to the DA was, by all acounts, quick, thorough, professional, and unambiguous. I get the feeling that in many of these cases, the first (and often last) obstruction is the responding officer, and it's a good sign that local law enforcement did its job quickly and effectively. It also makes the DA's lies obvious when it's the Sheriff calling bullshit.
posted by fatbird at 3:21 PM on October 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. I was trying, but the red haze obscuring my vision kept causing typos.

As much as I would like to think that this will have any impact beyond a shaming (and perhaps punishment) of the perpetrators, I do not think that this will actually prevent any rapes. To make a truly horrific analogy, to the rapists, rape is like speeding. They think everyone does it and they do not expect to get caught. The ones that do are indignant about that fact. If this was done every time (or nearly every time) this sort of thing happened, it might act as a deterrent. However, I have this sickening feeling that both the men (for lack of a better term) who did this and the friends who supported them are feeling unjustly victimized.

This ties back into the need to change the culture. I hope this will help, but I am honestly not sure what will ever fix the culture of America (not just small town America, this happens among the 1% as well, it just never gets out).
posted by Hactar at 3:23 PM on October 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


More victims have come forward.
posted by funkiwan at 3:48 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Small towns are toxic.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:57 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


This sort of thing has been going on forever, in all kinds of different places. Sometimes, the most shocking part for me is how shocked other people are at the victim blaming. Almost anyone who has ever been a teenaged girl could tell you how that works.

It fits in nice and neatly with the rest of rape culture. The culture where we define women based on what men do to them. Where schools ban tank tops and yoga pants for girls because it's distracting for boys. Where female celebrities have had their public images defined by leaked sex tapes, or even by 'wardrobe malfunctions' captured by predatory paparazzi. Where teachers and parents tell little girls that the boys who are tormenting them are doing it because they like them, and they should be flattered by street harassment. Where we subject young girls to abstinence education and chastity balls that tell them we value them for things they haven't done rather than their accomplishments, and that 'virginity' is a tangible thing that's gifted to the first penis to touch them, after which they lose their market value.

Blaming rape victims falls right in with that whole narrative, and it can't just be neatly excised. We need to look long and hard at the range of behaviors and attitudes that culminate in this and Steubenville and all the other cases like it that never made it into the spotlight.
posted by ernielundquist at 4:07 PM on October 15, 2013 [48 favorites]


"Wipe them out... All of them."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:07 PM on October 15, 2013


CNN! What an incredibly brave girl Daisy is. And what cowards those criminals are.
posted by headnsouth at 4:09 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope something good comes of this exposure of the rape and the resulting backlash. I'm not sure I like the idea of vigilante justice, generally, but I can get behind this case 100%. The perpetrators made an example of Daisy and her family. Why not make an example of them? It's going to be haphazard and ugly, no doubt, but at least a spotlight is being shone on these awful communities. If only North America had something mentioned by one of the commenters above: a "justice system". One that functions.

More and more journalists seem to be getting on board. I'm interested in seeing how this plays out.
posted by quiet earth at 4:17 PM on October 15, 2013


Update: Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder released a statement asking for Daisy Coleman's case to be re-opened.
posted by quiet earth at 4:45 PM on October 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


GOOD. (unless of course that's just an Anonymous trick . . . would obviously rather this be the real thing)
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:49 PM on October 15, 2013


Update: Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder released a statement asking for the case to be re-opened.

Next time you find yourself pondering why it's worth putting down the money for an online subscription to your local/preferred media outlet...this is why.
posted by dry white toast at 4:58 PM on October 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


growing up in a small religious town, and in a tight religious commuity, i was told expliclty and implicitly that there were women you fucked and women you married, that women you fucked asked to b e fucked, that they were less than human, that you could not consent to sexuality outside of marriage, that they tempted, and that were almost less than human. i saw athletic culture carry on this message of sexual violence, and twin it with a culture of homophobia. we had a huge football school, and the moralism of the church, the authority of the football and rugby cultures, and the moralism of the small town just made it unsafe to be queer or female or queer and female. i say fucked, but i of course mean raped, though we didn`t say this word. i said this to my mom yesterday, who is as solid and femminist as you can imagine, and she was suprised. im not suprised, and not angry as much as profoundly saddened.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:09 PM on October 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


But secondly, what possesses people to do the shaming and the home destruction?

All of the good answers above, plus a side order of the Just World Phenomenon. People don't want to believe that something awful can happen to them, so they invent reasons why the victim must have done something wrong to deserve it that they, themselves would never do. It makes them feel safe.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:35 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a little torn about Anonymous getting involved. When the local law enforcement doesn't enforce the law, it's easy to cheer for a group like Robin Hood, the Three Musketeers, or Anonymous. The problem is that they have even less of a system of checks and balances than the criminal justice system in this Podunk town.

Sure, we all think that it's great when they go after the Bad Guys but do you trust an anonymous group to be 100 percent accurate on who's a Bad Guy and who isn't? The Mafia and KKK also started out as vigilantes who thought that they were righting wrongs.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


i saw athletic culture carry on this message of sexual violence, and twin it with a culture of homophobia.

This makes me wonder if there's a direct link between the two. Maybe homophobia has some of its roots cognitive dissonance, as men try to explain to themselves why they're okay with women being raped when the prospect of being raped themselves fills them with revulsion and horror. The simplest way to resolve this without changing your reactions or behavior is to conclude that male-on-male rape is much worse than male-on-female rape, and that your revulsion and horror is a reaction to the homosexual aspect rather than to the rape aspect.
posted by baf at 6:47 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have you not paid attention to the rise of ultra-conservative media and the whole "If you're not with us, you're against us" attitude in conservative politics over the past 20-30 years? Their entire modus is to gin-up anger in everything. Influence and rule by fear and anger.

Well of course I have. But it's one thing to read about it or see it on TV and then experience it in a crowd, especially when some of the animosity was directed right at me. Over an incredibly obvious political stunt. The shouters, pretending to be a spontaneous rising of citizens, forgot that they were carrying their campaign signs and wearing pro-their guy buttons. The issue reminded me a little of the fake grassroots "riot" down in Florida during Bush-Gore.
posted by etaoin at 7:19 PM on October 15, 2013


Another thing that I haven't really seen mentioned much, but I think is a key element here (having lived in this world for the first 15 years of my life) is the Coleman family's status as "outsiders" in Maryville, having moved from Albany (40 miles away) 3 years ago. I remember clearly, when I was young, and someone would move to the area from elsewhere - there was a tone of voice that would be used when referring to them - an element of suspicion - a hint of distrust - that seemingly never fully went away. "Not from around here" wasn't just a fact, but a judgement as well. I can think of more than one person who has lived near where I grew up for at least 20 years, but because they weren't born and raised there, they're still a little suspect.

I suspect, from the article, that there was a lot of this at play in this case - not only were claims being made against someone "respected" in the community, but they were being made by someone who "wasn't from around here". Now whether this is because someone who wasn't an outsider would just accept this as "normal" and not raise a fuss, or whether the claims are disbelieved because they're being made by an outsider, I can't really say - but I think it's an important factor that's playing a part here.
posted by jferg at 8:54 PM on October 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


I am so sick of this bullshit. My own university has a continual history of covering up rapes and other serious crimes by athletes. I was looking up the Pierre Pierce case, then while looking for another case that implicated the highest levels of the University administration in a coverup, and then by accident, I stumbled upon another case that is even more recent that I hadn't even heard about. This is why I stopped reading the local newspapers. It is either full time sports rah rah, or more rarely, constant sensationalistic headline coverage of crimes by athletes. And how the hell are you supposed to stop this culture of sex crimes, when the directors of the programs are sex criminals? And there are thousands of Jerry Sanduskys and administrators who protect them at every level from elementary schools on up to the pros.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:03 PM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Friends of mine talked about how you map this to the young people who show up in big cities off the bus, prepared to live on the streets, because even that is better than being an outsider -- gay/girl/geek/goth/etc -- in the small town that's been the extent of their world since forever.

We're really talking here about cultures of selective impunity, extending from high school cliques up to local politics cliques, which is for the most part only sustainable in communities of a certain (smaller) size.
posted by holgate at 9:06 PM on October 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


thats a really good point--if yr queer or outsider, and you cannot stay in the town, the town becomes even more hermetic.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:59 PM on October 15, 2013


Anonymous played a role in reopening a notorious gang rape case in Canada. Sadly too late for Rateah Parsons, who killed herself after she reported a gang rape.(she was bullied and also photos of the assault circulated)
In the end Anonymous seems to have forced the case reopening or at least been a major player in making it happen. I appreciate their efforts in that case for sure.
posted by chapps at 11:10 PM on October 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember working with Dugan at the Lawrence Journal-World/KUSports. I'm really proud of the work he's doing and am glad that so many people are reading it.
posted by rewil at 11:27 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I never assumed the negative attention would be in the form of restaurant reviews.

I looked up the Facebook page of the veterinary hospital that fired the mother for, apparently, something the boss assumed she would do in the future. I really, really considered adding my review of her employment practices to the Friday-posted photo of a puppy. But I saw that Anonymous was making noises already Monday morning, so I went to bed. By afternoon, when I get up, I noted the animal hospital page had already vanished.

I do note that the perp's grandfather has had his Wikipedia page, uh, updated with his involvement.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a certain degree of legitimacy that must be maintained by any social role. You may notice the NFL has some surprisingly conservative elements, and that steroids in Baseball somehow is a way more important thing (congressional hearings! actual consequences!) than it should otherwise be.

Honestly, even the NCAA ban on students getting paid (despite being The Talent that brings in absurd revenues) is part of this.

There's a required sheen of legitimacy. Sometimes, it involves making sure players aren't getting damaged enough that they're broken after (I'm seeing *Texan parents* banning their kids from Football, over brain damage fears). And what we're seeing here is the backlash against increasingly illegitimate behavior used to cover up genuinely horrific acts.

Society runs on the currency of legitimacy. Nothing gets around this, not forever.

(Let me point out that I'm not a hater of sports at all. As an old friend taught me, they're really a massive predictor against teen pregnancy, making it to college, etc. As it happens, team building can be taught by being part of a team.)
posted by effugas at 2:15 AM on October 16, 2013


corb: "In many pockets of the country, "liquoring a girl up" is not considered rape - it's not rape unless you slip a roofie in. If they voluntarily consume the alcohol, then they're considered to be consenting. THEY ARE WRONG! But this is how they consider it.

And so I think that people in the town thought, not, "Oh, he can't have done this", but "Of course a fine, all-American boy wants to stick his penis in lots of girls. That's what red-blooded American boys do. Every girl knows that. If those girls snuck out of the house and into their beds at 1AM in the morning, that's what they were looking for. How dare they then turn around on the boys for what everyone knows boys do?"

Again, THIS IS WRONG. But these are the cultural expectations. And I think that we need to focus less on "This is a coverup" and more on "How the fuck do we change these cultural expectations?
""
Here is a really awesome add campaign in Missoula, sometimes called the rape capital of America.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:24 AM on October 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


The "Not from around here" mindset also has implications for any investigation that may happen, I should think. Will local law enforcement be involved? The Coleman family are on record saying that the Sheriff called a further ten girls who came forward liars who 'just want to crucify those poor, innocent boys'.
posted by asok at 3:52 AM on October 16, 2013


That's really great, blasdelb. Though I think part of that thing pinkmoose is referring to, "girls you fuck and girls you marry" is also at play, and I'm not sure how to correct that. I've experienced that kind of thing too, and it's the strangest thing in the world - men who would cheerfully take advantage of one "kind" of woman, being horrified at the mere suggestion that they might be less than gentlemanly with another "kind" of woman.

That ad campaign doesn't mean to, but I worry the first ad, at least, is unconsciously reinforcing that. "That's no way to treat a lady" doesn't have to be, but often is, part of the "lady/woman" split, where "women" were for fucking and could be treated badly but "ladies" were pure and wonderful and needed to have cloaks thrown over puddles for them.

The thing is, I worry that this whole kind of cycle - something terrible happens, it gets in media, internet outrage is born, outsiders force trial or grand jury empaneling - doesn't actually do much to fix these cultures. In fact, it seems more like it makes them double down. There's no "Hey, this is the wrong way, let me explain it to you in a way that makes us allies together", and it reinforces the "Outsiders are the source of pain to our community" dynamic.

There's no doubt that these guys are legally culpable, but I do wonder about how morally culpable people who don't know that what they're doing is wrong are. They're living in a filter bubble that reinforces to protect itself, and it's reallly hard to make it through that with news of the rest of the world.
posted by corb at 5:32 AM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Update: Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder released a statement asking for Daisy Coleman's case to be re-opened.

Can someone explain why he has to release a statement asking for the case to be reopened? As the Lt. Governor, can't he just order that it be done?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:03 AM on October 16, 2013


There's no doubt that these guys are legally culpable, but I do wonder about how morally culpable people who don't know that what they're doing is wrong are

i've been raped by small town (non-jock) boys who lived further up the hill than me, thus the end result was no charges for them and lots of damage to my reputation. having looked in their eyes, i can tell you that they knew what they were doing wasn't welcome, they just didn't care. they are absolutely morally culpable, even if their whole life they were trained to think of themselves as superior and certain girls as inferior.
posted by nadawi at 6:03 AM on October 16, 2013 [24 favorites]


i'm guessing you release a statement because your office is being hammered with calls and emails and, it being anonymous, maybe more.
posted by nadawi at 6:04 AM on October 16, 2013


i'm guessing you release a statement because your office is being hammered with calls and emails and, it being anonymous, maybe more.

It's the asking, not the release of the statement that I'm confused by. He doesn't say, "I have ordered that the case be reopened". Does he not actually have the power to do that? I'm not sure what powers US state governors have.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:09 AM on October 16, 2013


Can someone explain why he has to release a statement asking for the case to be reopened? As the Lt. Governor, can't he just order that it be done?

Actually, no, I don't believe the Lt. Gov has the power/authority/jurisdiction to order a local law enforcement agency to do anything. Public statements requesting an action be taken is as close as they can come to it. It's sort of a "I can't order you to do this. But, you really, really, really should do this." statement. It implies that there's a big ball of political hurt coming your way if you don't do this thing.

Now, the Governor himself might have that power. So, I guess this is the next to last step before the actual Gov gets involved.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:15 AM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Lieutenant Governor of Missouri has basically no official power. He presides over the state Senate and gets a tiebreaking vote, and he sits on some commissions, but like most Lieutenant Governors, he's pretty much just there to take over for the Governor (and like many others, that includes when the Governor is out of state).

A twist in this particular case is that Kinder is a Republican, while the Governor is a Democrat, and the next election is three years away, so Kinder is not likely polishing up his gubernatorial credentials for a run at the top office. This might -- and I emphasize might -- actually be a politician just trying to do the right thing.
posted by Etrigan at 6:38 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is now also word of a public sexual assault that happened against the window of the local Chase Bank in downtown Athens Ohio during the University's homecoming that was live tweeted by dozens of onlookers and that ended with the woman being left unconscious in the street to the clear amusement of many.

There are all kinds of triggers behind that link.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:55 AM on October 16, 2013


God dammit, sometimes I feel like people out there are trying to come up with outrageous stuff to give LAW AND ORDER SVU new material to rip from the headlines and that is not a good way to be feeling.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 AM on October 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Nodaway County Officials Stand Behind Case
posted by HerArchitectLover at 7:10 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm from southern Missouri. I grew up in county A next door to county B where my parent’s families had settled in the early 1830s. My father was stationed in county A in the 1960s and even after thirty-two years of living there my family was still considered outsiders by the locals, so I’m not surprised by the outsiders vs. locals attitude. My father also observed that, “There was state law and then there was ‘county’ law.”

When I was in high school, a young man who struggled with disabilities from a poor family was sodomized by fellow members of the wrestling team. They were on a school bus returning from an evening event. The school administrators kept it hush hush as possible. When I asked my friend on the wrestling team why he didn’t try to stop the assault, he said he was riding up front and it occurred in the back of the bus. He didn’t hear anything, I think, due to headphones. Although my memory is a bit foggy, I believe that perhaps only one of the perpetrators was punished. The victim’s family was too poor and uneducated to know they had a heck of a lawsuit on their hands. I suppose the local good old boy attorneys did not step forward to point this out lest they help tarnish the “reputation” of a school only known for subpar academics and crappy athletic teams.

A few days after it happened I was in class when the victim walked by in the hallway. One of the boys in my class yelled out something nasty about being “a homo.” I came unhinged and let him have it.

This crazy behavior must stop. Now. No more victims.
posted by Coyote at the Dog Show at 7:41 AM on October 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Re the Chase bank assault -I'm on my phone so can't see everything but it looks as though people may not have been aware it was a sexual assault at all. The people tweeting the situation appear at least to just be shocked by the public nature of the acts. (Granted the pictures I saw have censor boxes over the eyes,so it's possible this was obvious.) But I consider myself pretty hotheaded over sexual assault - I even once got in a fistfight to stop one - and I'm not sure if I would have stopped and assumed assault in that situation. Even if I thought they were drunk, I feel like I would have no way to differentiate a drunk but exhibitionist couple from a brazen asshole molesting a stranger. (Not that all assaults happen from strangers, but just that of that were the case it'd be nightmarishly hard to read or understand.)

Which is all to say - society may not be as broken as it appears from something like that.
posted by corb at 8:43 AM on October 16, 2013


There's no doubt that these guys are legally culpable, but I do wonder about how morally culpable people who don't know that what they're doing is wrong are.

You don't cover up what you don't know to be wrong.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:25 AM on October 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


Just to cover an obvious objection, you might cover up what you know to be illegal, even if you don't think it's wrong.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:45 AM on October 16, 2013


rape culture is alive and well over at slate - The Best Rape Prevention: Tell College Women to Stop Getting So Wasted.
posted by nadawi at 9:46 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


anne friedman responds to the slate piece
posted by nadawi at 9:54 AM on October 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


nadawi: "rape culture is alive and well over at slate - The Best Rape Prevention: Tell College Women to Stop Getting So Wasted."

Ann Friedman responds.

God, Emily Yoffe is despicable.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:55 AM on October 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


Sigh, I even previewed.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:55 AM on October 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


The other thing that Yoffe does not mention is that the whole culture of "You're as tough as me if you can drink like me" is not one women started, it's a bullshit loaded game that men started as a way to offer the golden ring of not being treated like other women.
posted by corb at 10:10 AM on October 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


My read on the Emily Yoffe piece is that she takes great pains to say rape isn't the victims fault, but don't go out of your way to be an easy mark. Sounds reasonable enough until Ann Friedman's piece provides the missing half: men's binge drinking greatly increases the chances that they'll perpetuate a sex crime, which is conspicuously absent in Yoffe's article.

Thanks for linking that.
posted by dr_dank at 10:13 AM on October 16, 2013


I suspect that Americas high age limits on drinking probably have the perverse effect of worsening the situation: Pretty much everyone 18-21 at college is going to drink, but if you're under 21- you're going to be pushed into doing do in a really unsafe environment.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on October 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can't decide if Emily Yoffe is generally sincere or a really dedicated troll. But I cannot imagine how anyone can honestly think that we just haven't explained to women that if they change some aspect of what they do (drinking, in this article, but there are lots of options) they will be safer and don't they want to be safe? No one has explained risk to women ever before now!

That Ann Friedman response is wonderful.
posted by jeather at 10:20 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't decide if Emily Yoffe is generally sincere or a really dedicated troll.

I used to read her Dear Prudence column all the time just to see what tin-eared crap she'd dole out as advice. Believe me, she is absolutely sincere and has no proficiency in self-reflection or subtext.
posted by Etrigan at 10:23 AM on October 16, 2013


I used to read her Dear Prudence column all the time just to see what tin-eared crap she'd dole out as advice. Believe me, she is absolutely sincere and has no proficiency in self-reflection or subtext.

Plus she's displayed a strong inclination towards victim-blaming, especially when alcohol has been involved. (Excuse me if I don't go trawling through her archives looking for specific examples.)
posted by Lexica at 12:34 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Plus she's displayed a strong inclination towards victim-blaming, especially when alcohol has been involved.

Her track record on alcohol, period, is abysmal. She's been pretty open on occasion about being totally biased, but basically her position is that nobody should ever have more than a glass of champagne at New Years', and anyone who does drink more than that deserves whatever happens to them as a result (or corollary).
posted by like_a_friend at 1:15 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


HOLY SHIT, THAT'S MY HOME TOWN!

How did I not notice this story yesterday???

Our Ship Of The Imagination!: " The other thing that bothers me is that his grandpa was a fucking state rep and from what I have heard Marysville "

"Maryville", no "s". Don't let this story get passed off on one of the many Marysvilles in the US.

In the 1940s a black man was accused of raping the local schoolteacher (and probably guilty, FWIW). A lynch mob took him from jail and burned him alive on top of the one-room schoolhouse. The local paper from that date is either missing in the local library, or silent on the event; I forget which.

During my high school days a black university student (foreign, from an African nation) was imprisoned for "threatening with a deadly weapon" - a small knife he used to fend off the out-of-control football team housed in his dorm that were harassing him. He served weekends only, under his sentence. One weekend, the full-timers returned from work duty, and somehow smuggled a jug of booze into the county lockup (one single, extended cell). They bundled him into a large blanket, and beat him with blunt objects caught in towels (as in the soap scene in Full Metal Jacket). The coroner testified that it took hours for him to die, and his screams would easily have been audible to the two deputies on duty that night, who were essentially around the corner of a brick wall with a barred door.

Under Missouri law, the only way they could get a murder conviction was with an eye witness, so two of the three perps testified against the third. The two - undoubtedly guilty, if not convictably - got sentences under five years for the torture-murder.

There's a helluva lotta good people in Maryville, but bullies generally went unpunished in my childhood (leading to lots of therapy, yo). Sooo sad to hear it's still true.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:50 PM on October 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


They bundled him into a large blanket, and beat him with blunt objects caught in towels (as in the soap scene in Full Metal Jacket). The coroner testified that it took hours for him to die, and his screams would easily have been audible to the two deputies on duty that night, who were essentially around the corner of a brick wall with a barred door.

Under Missouri law, the only way they could get a murder conviction was with an eye witness, so two of the three perps testified against the third. The two - undoubtedly guilty, if not convictably - got sentences under five years for the torture-murder.


Bring back the cross and the wheel.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:02 PM on October 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


The idea of federal legislation for cases like this is very interesting. One of the angles that I did not see mentioned here is the fact that county DAs (or "prosecuting attorneys") are usually elected officials, like most state judges. This fact, combined with the ENORMOUS amount of prosecutorial discretion given to these officials, is something that we really need to take a serious look at if we want to improve our criminal justice system in this country.
posted by Carmelita Spats at 3:29 PM on October 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


IAmBroom, there is nothing about your post that is not incredibly horrifying.

Threads like this make me grateful that I'm raising my daughter in a left coast urban enclave. I realize that doesn't eliminate any/all danger ever, but it sure as hell reduces the odds that she'll be brutally assaulted by a bunch of savages, then be treated as the perp by the rest of the "upstanding" citizenry in a small town with "small town values."
posted by sobell at 6:49 PM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure, Small Town Evil may be a cliché, but I've lived in enough small towns to know that some clichés don't become clichés for no reason.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:11 PM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A northwest Missouri prosecutor said Wednesday that he's asking for a special prosecutor to look at the case of a 14-year-old girl who says she was plied with alcohol and raped by a 17-year-old acquaintance.
posted by rtha at 6:14 AM on October 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The MaryvilleDailyForum's article about prosecutor Rice's statements yesterday, as well as a press release from Barnett's attorney.
posted by 0 at 8:14 AM on October 17, 2013


Can anyone unpack what's going on in this paragraph from Barnett's lawyer?
"While charges were pending, counsel for the defendant sought to take the depositions of the accusers and others. This is a right constitutionally guaranteed to all accused. On May 31, 2012, after being sworn under oath, the accusers and family members refused to answer any questions citing their Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate themselves. Accordingly, without competent evidence and with witnesses unwilling to testify, the State was under a duty to dismiss any prosecution when it became apparent that a conviction was not possible.
Is it S.O.P. to plead the Fifth in these depositions? I'm pretty sure he's making a non-sequitur -- it's not like their invocation of the Fifth means they had no evidence and couldn't make a case -- but is anything about his logic sound? Are DAs likely to take accusers' lack of willingness to answer questions in these depositions into account in their decision to press charges?
posted by tonycpsu at 3:15 PM on October 17, 2013


The accusers were mentioning on CNN that they stopped cooperating with the prosecution only after they dropped the felony charges to pursue a single relatively trivial misdemeanor that was likely to result in only a fine or superficial sentence.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:49 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, it's fairly common for the defendant to plead the Fifth in a deposition. Because he or she is on trial and accused of a crime. For the key witnesses against the defendant to plead the Fifth is extremely non-standard and, indeed, would make a conviction almost impossible.

But as Blasdelb says it may have just been a protest against what they viewed as misconduct they didn't want any part of.
posted by Justinian at 3:50 PM on October 17, 2013


Problem is the girl's family says they stopped cooperating because the prosecution dropped the felony charge, and the prosecution says they dropped the felony charge because they didn't cooperate.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:03 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's why they should bring in an outside investigator. Somebody is lying and it should be very easy for an outsider to figure out who that is.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on October 17, 2013


The parent of one of the teens at the Barnett house that night was the only one to comment briefly to The Star: “Our boys deserve an apology, and they haven’t gotten it yet.”

Die in a fucking fire.
posted by mlis at 8:14 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Die in a fucking fire.

Word.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:03 PM on October 17, 2013


I bring this up quite often -- but I think it's worth repeating -- and I learned it from Mr. Vitabellosi:

To the extent that we have a death penalty, we should give the death penalty for rape. Mr. Vitabellosi can, hypothetically, imagine some reasons why someone might kill someone -- he can imagine how people can come to that point. (I mean, look, if you're committing a robbery and someone walks in on you, you might shoot that person to try to get away with the robbery. You should totally be punished as a murderer -- but there's a logic, in that moment, to what you did. A terrible logic, but a logic.)

There is no logic for raping someone.

There's no possible explanation for doing it that is at all reasonable on any level. You can't do it accidentally. You can't do it because you had a single moment of blind rage. Rape takes time, and often, planning. It's sole purpose is to dominate, torture and humiliate the victim. (If someone walks in on you during a robbery, it wouldn't make sense to rape that person, in order to get away with robbery.)

You only rape to punish and torture.

Rapists are worse than murderers -- more broken as human beings. Our justice system should reflect that like a hall of mirrors.

ps: I don't attend my small town high school class reunions, and whenever anyone asks why not, I say "Why would I want to go hang out with the people who sexually assaulted me and tried to rape me, twenty years ago?" Call me Debbie Downer, but for a large portion of our population, high school was and is a fucking nightmare shit show, day after fucking day after fucking day, for months and years.
posted by vitabellosi at 5:58 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


The problem with making the penalty for rape the same as for murder is that, then, there's literally no reason not to murder your rape victim. No one to testify, you can dump the evidence, same risk of prosecution.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:59 AM on October 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


I think the rush to portray Maryville as Steubenville 2.0 has resulted in a lot of media outlets, including this thread, overstating the relationship of this case to football.

Point the First: it's not at all accurate to say Matthew Barnett was a football star. He was a second string defensive player, whose limited playing time didn't begin until his senior year. See the Nodaway County Officials Stand Behind Case article posted above. This fact is corroborated by published statements from Barnett's father. Technically Barnett was not even on the football team in January 2012, being that he was a senior and the team's season had ended two months before. It's almost certain that, as a backup, he was not being recruited by any college teams, so his career as a football player was effectively over by the night in question. Yet the Football Star epithet has been repeated over and over again, both in corporate media and the blogosphere. Anderson Cooper uses it. Anonymous uses it. It is simply misleading.

Even on pieces that leave off the star bit, it's become pretty standard to refer to Barnett as "the football player" as if that is his defining characteristic. One CNN piece I saw used the phrase in place of his name, so a half dozen or so uses in 60 seconds. Perhaps they didn't use his name for reasons of journalistic ethics, but it's still a different story than if they'd called him "the high schooler" or "the nose picker" or whatever else he did with the 98% of his time he wasn't playing football. I suppose that makes it accurate to refer to Daisy Coleman "the cheerleader" over and over again. (Wait, no it doesn't.)

Now, Jordan Zech (or "the iPhoner" as I've come to think of him) could legitimately be called a football star. The KC Star article fairly calls him "a top wrestler and all-state linebacker". He was one of 3 Maryville players (all defensive) to make the 2011 Class 3 Missouri All-State team his junior year. Note that wrestling is mentioned first however, and indeed The St Joseph News-Press's archives reveal his wrestling career to be more storied than his football career. But wrestling, in mid-season that January, has hardly been mentioned in the larger narrative of this rape since the KC Star article appeared.

Jordan Zech, of course, is not accused of rape. He is accused of taking a video, of which there are no known copies. (Did I mention that Zech, much like the Steubenville rapists, is an avid iPhone user?) Which brings me to Point the Second: this doesn't appear to be a case where a community protected its athletes so as to not hurt its prowess in athletic competition. Zech and two other boys at the Barnett's house that night (the football/tennis player and the "third junior football player" referenced in the KC Star) were suspended by the school district from all athletic activity sometime before April 30, 2012. So, the community removed these kids from their all their athletic programs while it was still a local issue and despite the dropped charges, just for being witnesses. Seems like the school district at least took the allegations seriously and did not let sports success influence their actions.

Finally, Points the Third and Fourth, remember that the 15 year-old, (currently) the only convicted sex offender in the case*, was not on the football team. And Daisy's brother, the guy who warned his sister about Barnett but respects her agency regarding his advice, was on the team.

At any given time, there are about a quarter of a million high school football players in the U.S. Statistically that's a whole lot of rapists just by averages, and I'd agree that its likely football players skew that average upwards. But the degree to which football lead to this tragedy, I think, is reletively small compared to other social influences. This case is plenty crappy enough on the basic facts alone that I think it's sorta weird how much the discussion, here but mostly overall, has focused on denigrating a pretty great sport.

* I sincerely hope Barnett joins the convicted list. It seems obvious that he should based on the age/alcohol factors alone.
posted by 0 at 8:22 AM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


What really happened, from Daisy Coleman.

When I went to a dance competition I saw a girl there who was wearing a T-shirt she made. It read: "Matt 1, Daisy 0."


o_0

the hell?
posted by zabuni at 8:24 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


This case is plenty crappy enough on the basic facts alone that I think it's sorta weird how much the discussion, here but mostly overall, has focused on denigrating a pretty great sport.

There looks to be maybe 10 to 15 posts talking about the intersection of athletics and rape culture in this thread, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. The equivocating as to who was a "star" or not, or who played football more or less than other sports, or who wasn't a rapist but perfectly fine in filming rape, also seems a little weird.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:37 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know what your point is. Do you really think that football culture is not a real thing or has no part in this?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:44 AM on October 18, 2013


I've made as much effort to explain myself as I'm going to. If you don't get it, well thanks for trying I suppose.
posted by 0 at 8:46 AM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I get it, it just seems wildly out of place, coming from basically nowhere, and a touch handwave-y. You could have cut 75% of the comment and made the same point in a less confrontational fashion, but as it is, it looks like you're trying to have an argument over football and semantics-quibbling that almost nobody else is.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:55 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Daisy's XOJane piece is astonishing.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:06 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's an incredibly self-aware and wise piece of writing, and I'm sorry she's had to grow up so fast. That young woman is braver than I'll ever be.
posted by Be cool, sodapop at 9:57 AM on October 18, 2013


I think there's a point to the football player piece, but it has less to do with football, than "popular high school elites with physical prowess", which is often conflated with "the football players" in a lot of small rural towns, just as "cheerleader" stands in for "beautiful teenage girl who is part of the popular crowd."

There are a lot of bad dynamics that take place when someone is a leader in a small town where they can do no wrong. These things have little to do with the particular sport that someone is engaged in, and more on their status as a golden one.
posted by corb at 10:33 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


To the extent that we have a death penalty, we should give the death penalty for rape.

I feel pretty comfortable opposing the death penalty for rape just as strongly as I oppose it for any other crime, which is to say: We should oppose it completely.
posted by Justinian at 12:02 PM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'M DAISY COLEMAN, THE TEENAGER AT THE CENTER OF THE MARYVILLE RAPE MEDIA STORM, AND THIS IS WHAT REALLY HAPPENED(xojane)
posted by corb at 12:41 PM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


To the extent that we have a death penalty, we should give the death penalty for rape.

I feel pretty comfortable opposing the death penalty for rape just as strongly as I oppose it for any other crime, which is to say: We should oppose it completely.


Me too, actually -- which is why i said that bit about "to the extend that..."

But what do you think about the point of my comment, that rape is more offensive because of the very singular intention behind it? That it demands a response in proportion to its provenance?
posted by vitabellosi at 1:38 PM on October 18, 2013


I understand where you are coming from but I don't think I can agree. That's not to in any way minimize the serious nature of the crime but I do think murder is in a category all its own if for no other reason than because of its absolute permanence. There is no potential for healing or making a life afterwards. You've completely and irrevocably ended someone's existence which isn't necessarily true of any other crime.
posted by Justinian at 1:58 PM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Today's NYTimes: High School Assault Case Is Revisited, Haunting Missouri Town
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2013


Mitrovarr: "I think we should consider passing a law. Call it the Steubenville-Maryville act or something. If a school, town, or municipality is found to have systematically engaged in covering up or failing to prosecute serious crimes committed by athletes, shaming or bullying victims, or retaliating against them, that school, town, or municipality must immediately suspend all school-associated athletic events for a period of five years or lose all federal educational funding for that time."

Don't do this. All that would happen is the school would refuse funding, it would be seen as a beacon of "moral values", conservative mindthink groups would send it money, and it would just further entrench their attitudes towards the issue.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:20 AM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Case Against High-School Sports
posted by Artw at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


OP Maryville has posted this message, purportedly from Melinda Coleman, ahead of tomorrow evening's rally. It reminds people that Maryville is divided over this and asks for non-violence.

I found this bit a little odd:
A reporter told me innocent people in Maryville were being threatened. I checked in to that and found out that the only "threats" have been people sending daisies to the courthouse. I think that sounds nice and not very threatening.
Could she really be that naive?
posted by 0 at 4:07 PM on October 21, 2013


Calls for justice, and privacy, at rally over Maryville rape case: good summary of last night's event and where things are at. Seems like the story will probably be quieter now until Special Prosecutor Baker (appointed last Monday) comes out with something. Anybody have any knowledge about how long these sorts of things take?
posted by 0 at 5:35 AM on October 23, 2013


This picture of Anonymous from that article is pretty cool. Love how the daisy in the blue one's ear looks so elf-ish.
posted by 0 at 5:39 AM on October 23, 2013


Maryville, Missouri Is a Lawless Hellhole: And other things you can't say about small towns
Leaving aside the dubious victimology-poor Maryville, battered so cruelly by the dark-hearted Kansas City media and their relentless "negative attention"—the paragraph also represents a great big logical problem for anyone who read the Star story, or even the 20-odd inches of stellar Times copy that followed the clunky lede: The whole point of a story of rape allegations dismissed by a political-prosecutorial complex intimately connected to an accused assaulter's state-legislative relative is that... Maryville never featured any of that simplicity in the first place!

It'd be easy to beat up on a reporter who was tasked with following a competitor's story and slipped into cliché. In fact, the reductio ad Rockwell is a common tic of journalistic visits to small towns, especially those put on the map by infamy. And it's one that really ought to stop. Decades of culture wars have left us with a set of social rules where it is largely OK for rural types to slander their citified co-citizens (cf. Sarah Palin, small-town mayor and "Real America" stalwart) but where urbanites can't dis the country folks without being deemed elitist (cf. Barack Obama, Chicagoite and "cling" apologizer).

Where that leaves us is with few ways of describing small-town life beyond patronizing clichés about their simplicity. But does anyone actually believe that residents of the hamlets and villages of the republic are simpler or cleaner or more honest than anyone else?
...
Here's an idea: If we must use clichés to describe small-towners, maybe let's swap the current choice for one that also has deep roots in American culture. Anyone who has watched a western from the late 1950s onwards knows that there's a pretty well-established archetype of the small town that is in fact a noxious theater of entrenched power and polite hypocrisies, one that only gets interrupted when a good-looking rebel decides he's had enough. How about we treat that as the default mode of describing the Maryvilles of the world? Yes, it's just as shallow and cheap as the other cliché. But, human nature being what it is, it has better odds of being right.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:40 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh common, Melinda and now Daisey Coleman are totally the heroic cowboy rebels of this story.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:08 AM on October 25, 2013


Maryville, Missouri Is a Lawless Hellhole: And other things you can't say about small towns

The New Republic: “Maryville, Missouri is a lawless hellhole.” Agreed!
Thus we come to Maryville, Missouri, site of a now-infamous rape case, and various journalists’ not terribly persuasive attempts to whitewash the place, most notably the New York Times. But all the air freshener in the world can’t perfume the overpowering stench which practically wafts off my computer screen every time I read about the godforsaken place. As Schaffer usefully points out:
There are two ways the town could have lived up to the Times’ rose-colored description of its status quo ante:
1. Beforehand, by not sexually assaulting ninth-graders, videotaping the incident, and leaving a victim asleep on her front lawn in freezing weather.
2. After the fact, by not ostracizing the victim’s siblings, firing her mom from her job, dropping the case inexplicably, and burning the family’s house down.
Schaffer goes on to argue, persuasively, that both of the above scenarios are actually more likely, not less so, in a small town than in a more densely populated urban area. Among other things, there’s the problem of the quasi-feudalistic nature of rural life:
Turns out all that “close knit” small-town stuff turns out to kind of suck if you’re trying to get justice: When you’re so close-knit that your boss knows some of the families whose kids you’re trying to put in jail, and you just happen to get fired—that’s not a good thing.
The anonymity of city life comes with its own troubles, of course, including high crime rates. I wouldn’t want, or expect, journalists to gloss over these well-known problems. Why, then, is it okay for them to create absurdly idealized portraits of small-town life? Especially when, as is the case with Maryville, such portraits sugarcoat horrendous and widespread anti-social behavior and what appears to be a systematic attempt at obstruction of justice?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:48 AM on October 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts: "Die in a fucking fire.

Word.
"

Wrong wrong WRONG!

We already had the victim's house burned down.

Think about it.
posted by Samizdata at 6:41 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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