Daisy Coleman, the teenager who was run out of her town after accusing two fellow high school students of rape, is in a Kansas City hospital on Tuesday after an apparent suicide attempt.
Her mother, Melinda Coleman, told Fox 4 that Daisy attended a party for about an hour on Saturday, after which she faced an immediate onslaught of cyberbullying. Melinda Coleman also discussed the attempt on her Facebook page, asking the online group Anonymous to do something to stop the online abuse her daughter faces. Coleman wrote:
Where is anonymous now? My daughter has been terrorized to the point she tried to kill herself last night. She may never be ok. Where are you and your super hacking skills and internet help now.......we really need them
According to Melinda's comments to the Daily Mail, her daughter took an overdose of drugs. Daily Mail also reports that she may have suffered permanent brain damage, but it's not yet clear what her real prognosis is.
According to Coleman and her mother, Daisy's classmates — along with some of their parents — started harassing the teenager on and offline after she accused two popular Maryville high school seniors of raping her and her best friend. At the time of the alleged rapes, Coleman was 14 years old, and her friend was 13. The incident was captured on video by one of the accused. Her case went more or less under the radar nationally until the Kansas City Star published a heartbreaking report on the case, detailing the harassment the family faced — Melinda Coleman lost her job — and questioning why the charges against the alleged rapists were dropped.
At least some of the popular seniors involved in the alleged assault were from influential families in Maryville. Meanwhile, the Coleman family had to move 40 miles away after the daily harassment became too much. Shortly after that, their Maryville home on the real estate market burned to the ground. The cause was never determined.
Daisy further went public with her ordeal and its aftermath in a piece on XOJane. She was suspended from the cheerleading squad, was told she was "asking for it," and called a "skank" and a "liar" on Facebook and Twitter. She has already tried to kill herself, twice. The harassment also prompted Daisy to do something remarkable — to publicly, repeatedly, discuss what happened to her. She wrote:
Since this happened, I've been in hospitals too many times to count. I've found it impossible to love at times. I've gained and lost friends. I no longer dance or compete in pageants. I'm different now, and I can't ever go back to the person I once was. That one night took it all away from me. I'm nothing more than just human, but I also refuse to be a victim of cruelty any longer.
Thanks in part to the national attention, a Kansas-area special prosecutor is re-investigating the rape case. Local prosecutors accused the Colemans of refusing to cooperate with the initial investigation, a charge that Daisy and her mother both deny. A group called Justice for Daisy Coleman recently claimed that the special prosecutor in charge of the reinvestigation is sitting on the case "until the statute of limitations kicks in."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.