A Northwest Missouri circuit court judge appointed Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on Monday to head up the new investigation the alleged Maryville rape case. At a news conference Monday afternoon, Baker addressed concerns that the alleged rapists have been given special treatment because of family political connections.
“I know this case has raised a variety of concerns. So please know this: This case will be thoroughly reviewed. Our review will be without fear and without fail," Baker said at the news conference. "I can also assure you that politics, connections will not play a role in our review in this case."
This announcement comes in the midst of increased attention to the case in Maryville. Daisy Coleman, the young girl at the center of the “rape media storm,” published a first-person account of her rape for XO Jane on Friday. And her mother, Melinda Coleman, published an open letter Monday asking that those involved in Tuesday's Anonymous rally for Daisy act respectfully and peacefully:
“We would just like everyone to know that Maryville is NOT a terrible town. We love so many people there and really were happy there until 1-9-12. Some families there are truly great friends!!! The school was incredible and tried so hard to protect my children.....above and beyond the call of duty.”
When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper Monday if she would be attending Tuesday’s rally, Daisy told Tapper no. “We were pondering it, but it sounds almost as if it wouldn't be safe for us to go just because of all the people in Maryville being very angry with the case right now,” Daisy said. “But we are thinking about it, and we are very thankful for all the people attending."
[Screengrab via CNN]