Audrie & Daisy (2016) Script

[interviewer] I'm gonna not refer to you by name, so that we keep you anonymous.

So, I'll refer to you as John R.

And we're gonna use animation to hide your identity.

-Sure, yeah. -Okay.

[interviewer] So... what's your understanding of what we're doing here today?

An interview. On... the Audrie Pott case.

[interviewer] What is the Audrie Pott case?

Uh, there was a... there was a... a criminal case... about a night on September 2nd, 2012.

And Audrie Pott committed suicide and there was a bunch of... things out there and it's a whole case. Yeah. [sighs]

[interviewer] I'm gonna refer to you as John B in the course of this interview, so that we don't use your name.

And we'll disguise your face to keep you anonymous.


[interviewer] How would you describe the case?

[John B] It was definitely very hard.

I was really tormented in school, like...

I was being bumped up in the hallway and, you know, called a rapist, and, yeah, a lot of... a lot of harsh terms and...

My car, it got, um... spray painted.

And then on the... on the back it said, like, "For Audrie."

[interviewer] So, you felt kids were blaming you for Audrie's death?

[John B] Yes. Definitely.

[interviewer] Did you know when you were taking those pictures that it was a crime?

-Did you know that in the moment? -No. Not at all.

You know, we just thought it'd be funny to just laugh and joke about.

And kids said they saw the photos.

I think the whole football team got interviewed by the police, and so...

Yeah, that's what happened.


[attorney 1] This is media number one of the video tape deposition of John B.

Case name, Pott v. John B, et al.

Case number 1-1-3-C-V-2-4-4-6-8-9.

[attorney 2] Okay. Um...

Going back in time, the party happened on September 3, 2012. Right?

[John B] Yes.

[indistinct chatter]

[whistle blows]

[coach] Mike, out. Mike, out.

[attorney 2] How did you become aware of the party?

[John B sighs]

[all chanting] Defense, defense, defense!

[John B] It is pretty blurry, it was... almost four years ago.

So, I mean...

I hear this party is being hosted by Audrie and, um, Emily.

And it was my first party I've ever been to.

I was a freshman. I just got my license.

You know, kinda thought I was cool and stuff.

I drove my friends there.


[Larry Pott] Sheila and I have shared joint custody of Audrie.

A couple days a week for me, and Sheila had a couple days a week.

She was always a happy kid, fun kid.

She loved practical jokes.

[Sheila Pott] And when she got older, we used to like to cook together.

Sometimes we would turn on the Food Network and we'd wait until we saw something that we liked.

And we would go out and get everything and make it.

[kids screaming]

And her friends would come over and play in the pool.

She was very outgoing. She made friends easily.

But she was very self-conscious.

So, it would be... the bra, the cami and then the T-shirt, and then she would bend over in the mirror and make sure you can't see anything.

[giggling and mumbling]

[Amanda Le] She was one of my only true friends.

We were kind of like an inseparable pair throughout middle school.

So, there was not a week where we didn't go to each other's houses at least once.

[attorney] When did you first start accessing this Yahoo! account?

[John B] Sixth or seventh grade.

[girl speaking indistinctly]

[Amanda] They were pretty persistent, the boys in middle school.

It was very odd, like... even today I think back and it's like, wow!

There was definitely pressure to have boobs.

And I had none. [laughs]

I'm gonna admit it, I was a late bloomer.

[Amanda] So, boys didn't ask me for pictures and things like that because I didn't have anything to send.

But most of the girls in my grade did.

Yeah, couple of girls in our group of friends actually, they did full nude.

[interviewer] Did Audrie? [Amanda] No, she never did.

Boys always asked her, 'cause, you know, she was one of the most developed girls in our grade.

So, naturally, boys will always ask her for it first, you know?

Uh, but I made her promise me, "Never ever send them.

You'll just get made fun of, or, like, it'll just...

It would be wrong."

[girl 1] You scared me. I was like... [chuckles]

[girl 2] Oh.

[engine starting]

[indistinct chatter and laughter]

[Amanda] We got to Emily's and they were already wasted. Everybody.

They were just, like, very sloppy, you know, pizza was on the floor.

People were, like, making out on the couch and...

It was just uncomfortable.

[John R] People with hickeys. Hands down each other's pants.

It's like, I don't know, it's kinda new to me to see that.

[Amanda] Audrie was really messed up.

She was, like, making out with people.

I took her upstairs and had her lay down, but then she just came back downstairs.

So, I left. And then, I guess, things got worse.

[attorney] when you went to go retrieve the markers.

-[defense] Object to the form. -[John R] I remember saying, "Let's go draw on Audrie," when I saw the markers.


Part of it, the drawing part was like a practical joke.

Like, we've grown up, coloring on our cousins, and when someone falls asleep, there's coloring on each other, just 'cause, like...

Didn't mean for there to be any harm in it, other than a practical joke.

Audrie actually drew on me in class, like, a few days before that weekend anyways, and I was just...

Yeah, it was just... [mumbles] a stupid thing. But...

It wasn't like we were trying to, like, shame her or, like, be mean or anything.

[attorney] Uh, and for the record...

[defense] Object to the form.

[attorney speaking]

[defense] Instruct him not to answer that.

[Larry] I didn't know anything at the time.

But they used... indelible markers.

Completely covered one whole side of her face, lifted up her bra and her panties, drew on her private parts, um, wrote nasty things on her body, and then... um, sexually assaulted her.


[Sheila] The next morning, I went and I picked her up.

And I noticed right away that she had green marker down the side of her leg.

And I said, "Why do you have green pen on you?"

And she made some excuse like, "Oh, so-and-so did something."

[Amanda] She said, "I'm scared. What if...

I did something that I didn't wanna do."

Uh, she had no clue about the pictures, though.

And I remember, I think maybe during break or during lunch or something, I saw a group of boys just, like, crowded around.

They were looking down, so it looked like they were looking at a phone.

I said, "Look at that, like, they're definitely looking at a picture."

She witnessed it right there, you know.

[Larry] So, when she's investigating this, it didn't matter if one person saw or 4,000 people saw.

Because to Audrie, everybody in her little world, which was that high school, everybody had seen it.

[Sheila] The next week, she texted me around 12:00, 12:30.

There was like four or five texts, and one of them said, "I can't do this anymore."

I said, "What do you mean?"

And she said, "Can you pick me up?"

We pulled up to the house, and I said, "Just go inside... and calm down and we'll talk in a few minutes."

She spent lot of the day in her room, on her computer.

And I went to check on her.

And I knocked on the door and I said, "Audrie, are you okay?"

And she said nothing.

So, I popped open the door, and...

I saw her and she was... hanging from the shower.

I cut her down...

and I tried to drag her out of the tub and...

I couldn't get her all the way out.

Maybe three minutes later... the paramedics were here.


And I kept saying, "You've gotta save her. You've gotta save her."

[Larry] I just, literally, raced to my car... [sighs] beelined straight to the hospital.

And the minute I walked in and saw her eyes, I knew she was gone.

[reporter 1] Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies arrived at Saratoga High School and arrested two teenaged boys.

Each of them will be charged with two counts of felony and one count of misdemeanor sexual battery.

[reporter 2] The photo not only made the event more terrible for Audrie, it will also be used as evidence against the boys, now in custody.

[reporter 1] This is not the first story we've told of this ilk.

Teenagers, allegations of sex assault, cell phone photos, social media.

It's getting to the point where we're losing track.

What about all of the other teens...


[Delaney Henderson] My dad came home one night and said, "Delaney, you need to turn on the news."

I remember turning on the news and hearing about this girl and her name was Audrie Pott.

And I remember thinking to myself, "I need to talk to her."

And my dad looked at me and he said, "You know, she committed suicide."

I know... I know the exact feeling she felt.

Even after my assault, I still go through it sometimes of just self-shame and, you know, all these people are right, what they're saying about me.

She had only been going through this for a week and had gotten so bad.

Like, if I had had one day and I could have just talked to her and let her know that I was there.

That I'm going through what she's going through.

And my dad was like, "You know, but sometimes, like, it's just too late."

I'm just lucky because it didn't work.

When I tried to kill myself, it didn't work.

And I remember thinking afterwards, "Why didn't I take more pills?"

Like, the assault and the rape happened, but it was the aftereffect, I think, that was so much worse.

I mean, there was pictures forwarded all over Facebook, all over Twitter.

There was hashtags created, like, "Delaney Henderson's a slut."

It got to the point where I was getting threats.

The DA actually came to us and said, "You need to leave, because these threats are getting so bad that we're afraid for your life."

What about these? These too, right?

[man] Yeah.

[Delaney] Now, we are finally moving to Florida.

I mean, we can't get any farther than that.

We're going from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

I wish that someone had contacted me when I had needed it, you know?

Even just to send me a Facebook message.

The second I heard about Daisy, I looked at my mom and I said, "I'm gonna talk to her.

I don't know how, I don't know where to find her, but I need to talk to her."



[reporter 1] A senior at Maryville High School was charged today with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, after allegedly engaging in sex with an intoxicated 14-year-old girl.

According to the Nodaway County sheriff's office, Matthew Barnett, aged 17, faces charges in the alleged...

[reporter 2] A second Maryville teen has been charged in a sex crimes investigation.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan Zech is charged with felony sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to court documents, he used his cell phone to make a video of a 14-year-old girl engaged in sexual acts with a 17-year-old male.

[David Glidden] Let's see. [grunts]

[Charlie Coleman] January 7th. I remember it pretty vividly because that was the first ever wrestling tournament I had ever won.

And I was pretty excited about it.

I actually texted Jordan, I was like, "We should hang out tonight. Let's play Call of Duty and drink a beer or two."

I had some in my fridge, I was like, "All right. Well, let's do this."

And he was like, "Ah, I don't know, man.

Matt keeps buggin' me about comin' over."

I was like, "All right, it's cool. Don't worry about it."

So, I actually went to bed.

When I fell asleep, it was probably ten o'clock.

Daisy had her friend Paige over from Albany and they were, what I thought was watching movies and stuff, but they were actually drinking a bit.

[Daisy Coleman] I met Paige when I was about nine or ten.

We kinda had the same dry sense of humor.

We were kinda the weird kids, almost like the outcasts.

She was basically my best friend.

So I really trusted her.

I thought, like, we could try drinking alcohol together.

We had just been drinking in a room. I mean, not really doin' a whole lot.

I know we went through at least a water bottle of tequila, and mixed that with some vodka and Red Bull.


Uh, I started to feel really sick and dizzy, so I laid down for a little while.

[text messages whooshing]

[Daisy] This guy started texting me.

He was actually friends with my oldest brother.

And him and, um, a bunch of my brother's friends were drinking at his place in his basement.

I was the freshman girl, cheerleader.

She was going to be a freshman. She was in eighth grade.

So it was kind of like, "Oh, older boys think they want to hang out with us?"

Like... It was just one of those things, like, "If we did this, I bet we would be cool if we could hang out with them," and kinda thing.

I think at the point that I did leave my house, I was drunk.

Not, like, tipsy or buzzed, but drunk. [chuckles]

Which was hard for me to identify at the time, because it was kind of like, "Oh, is this what it's supposed to feel like?

Or is it supposed to be different?"

So it's just kind of like, "Let me add more fuel to this fire and see what happens."


We literally jumped out my window.

We walked out to the car.

They kind of drove to a neighborhood.

We had to walk through a couple of backyards to get to his house.

So you could kinda tell that he was hiding it from his parents.

And so, we had to sneak in through the basement window.

There were five guys there.

Matt, Cole, Nick, Jordan, and a younger friend of theirs that took Paige into Matt's sister's bedroom.

Pretty much, uh, as soon as we got to the house, we were separated.

I was taken into another room.

[Daisy] Someone mentioned having me drink out of the bitch cup.

"If you drank so much, you were this tough," or whatever.

And since I have three brothers and it was guys kind of taunting me to do it, I kind of almost saw it as a challenge.

Like, "Yeah, I'll show you. I'm not just, like, a little girl" kinda thing. Yeah.

I drank all of that and had quite a few swigs straight from the bottle, which probably amounted to, like, 11 or 12 shots by that time.

I remember a dog ran up on the couch and sat on my lap, and I said something really loudly about it, and they told me to quiet down. And that's... literally the last thing I remember, so...

[Paige] I was really drunk.

Every time he tried to make a move, I'd always tell him no.

A lot of times I had pushed his hands away and...

I mean, I made it clear, very clear, that I didn't want to do this, but I was sexually assaulted.

I don't know. There was a lot more I wish I would have done, maybe fought back a lot harder. But...

Then who knows what would have happened after that.

When I was in the room, I could still hear them all in the living room talking, drinking...

After that five, ten minutes, it got quiet.

That's when Matt took her into the room. It was quiet until I came back out.

I came back out and...

Uh, they just told me to sit on the couch and wait.

Whenever they opened the door... um, she was just kind of laying there.

Half sprawled on the bed, half on the floor.

Uh, she couldn't talk.

She couldn't move hardly at all.

She was just completely incoherent.

They had decided they're going to have to just pick her up and put her through the window because she couldn't walk.

And then they pretty much dragged her to the car.

They were freaking out in the car, trying to figure out how they were going to drop us off without her brothers waking up.

And they told me that, "It's all right. We'll sit here and watch her, all she has to do is sober up."

They said, "Just go inside and go sleep."

And so, I went inside, pretty much just blacked out.

[reporter 1] Good morning, Maryville. It's a cold start to the day.

Only 21 degrees, getting up to an expected high of 44 this afternoon.

Later tonight, expect temps to drop back below freezing...

[Melinda Coleman] Ten till five in the morning, I heard... something outside...

And we got to the front door and Daisy was laying in the yard.

She had, um, just sweatpants and a T-shirt on and her hair was wet and it was frozen to the ground...

And we carried her in and wrapped her in a blanket and we were trying to warm her up.

And she was not unconscious, but not really conscious.

She couldn't speak. She couldn't move or answer any questions.

Then I panicked, I thought, "Where's Paige?"

You know? Is she out there somewhere?

I was being bombarded with questions and trying to figure out what was really going on and I myself really didn't know what was going on at first.

[Melinda] So, I started filling my tub up with cool water and I had started to kind of undress her and I noticed that she was really, really red in places...

Like in her groin and thigh area.

That was the thing that kind of made me think maybe something else had happened.

So at that point, I went ahead and took Daisy to the hospital and they did the exam.

They did the rape kits and they talked to both Daisy and Paige at that time.

We did do a blood alcohol level on her.

It came back 134.9.

I mean, it tells very clearly that, at the time they dropped her in the yard, just based on half-life, she had to be close to comatose.

She had to have been close to blood poison level.

[Daisy] By the time that they took me to the hospital, I could not sort out what happened, really.

So my story to the cops the first time was really, really, really hazy.

I was pretty... probably pretty messed up, still. I was really confused.

[Charlie] Daisy's phone was in the yard, face down in the snow.

One boot was next to it and another boot was ten feet away.

I dried the phone off on my pant leg and we started going through it, and the first name I saw on there was Matty B.

And I knew, I freaking knew... that was Matt Barnett.

I knew that that was something I wouldn't have put past Matt, to try to have sex with my sister.

But the fact that Nick and Cole were considered two of my best friends, and Jordan, like, my teammate... I wrestled that guy every single day.

Like, how hard would it have been for Jordan to text me and say, "Why is your sister at Matt's?"

But he didn't. Nick didn't. Cole didn't.

I called Nick and I was like, "We gotta talk. I know you were there. What happened?"

I drove to his house, sat outside and I texted him. I'm like, "I'm here."

No reply. Called him. No reply.

And I was instantly... I was livid and I told Mom, "You call the cops."

[Melinda] Because we were just outside of city limits, you know, it was literally right on the line, so it was technically the sheriff's jurisdiction when we called the emergency number.

-[girl 1] You're always on that side. -[girl 2] I'm on this side?

-[girl 1] Other side. -[girl 2 chuckles] Oh.

No, wait. I want to... Okay.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[Darren White] I guess it's a Midwestern thing.

But around here, everybody's real big on the one finger wave, you just kinda...


A lot of these families have been here for generations and are pretty well entrenched.

You know, everybody's connected in one way or another.

Of course, obviously, you have to be really careful of who you're talking about because you never know who they're related to.

-All right. See ya later. -[girl] Bye.

[White] Raising kids in a small town is really pretty great.

Just having daughters is... [chuckles]

I'm convinced that they're... that they're trying to kill me.

[car honking]

I was elected sheriff in 2008.

And then was re-elected in 2012.

Um, you know, not to sound like a Harry Truman cliché, but the buck really does stop here. There's nobody above the sheriff.

You know, it's safe to walk down these sidewalks at night and you don't have to worry about, somebody jumping out from the bushes and hitting you on the head and taking your wallet.

We don't want to fool ourselves into thinking that we don't have things that go on here, but we take a pretty proactive approach and... you know, we try to deal with things swiftly.

Something that comes in as a sexual assault, certainly raises your ire.

[bell rings]

Based upon the information that was given by the girls, we had a list of names of people that had been at this house.

We were able to round them up, bring them in, and we went from there.

Tell me about--

[White] From the time of call, to victims interviewed, suspects interviewed, people in jail... we're talking about four hours.

That's pretty darn quick.

[indistinct chatter]

[Charlie] Monday, we went to school.


It was 180 from that Friday.

The Friday before. It was... one school divided.

It was weird, because I always sat at a table filled with people.

Like, my teammates.

People I thought were my friends.

I had absolutely nobody. [chuckles] No one.

I was one of the athletes.

I was All-Conference and All-District in sports and... once all that happened, that was all taken from me in an instant.

I was now known as "Daisy's brother."

[Michael Coleman] And it's a girl. Catherine Daisy.

Okay, go. Go. Get your mother.

[Melinda coos]

-Get your mother. -[giggling]

[Melinda] Mike was actually an electrical engineer when I met him.

And, um, I was in vet school and he told me he had always wanted to be a doctor.

[chuckles] So, for the next...

Gosh, four years of med school, internship and then residency, I supported the family and had... had babies every 20 months. [laughs] It's pretty much...

Sissy eating ice cream.


[Daisy] Before my dad died, I always remembered thinking that he's never gonna die.

Like, he's too big and strong to die.

Literally nothing's gonna happen to him.

[Michael] And there's the birthday girl. Cheese.

I'll love this 20 years from now, just seeing what I'm seeing, a close-up of Daisy.

[Daisy] I was about nine at the time.

And we were heading to a wrestling tournament.

Some black ice had frozen over the night before.

So, when we drove over it, my dad lost total control of the wheel.

And we ended up upside down in a ravine.

[Charlie] When we got to the hospital, I sat there for probably two, three hours.

I was waiting for one of those Disney movie fantasies to come to life, where he woke up.

But he never did.

[Melinda] At first, it was just shock for a while.

And each of them had a tough year.

And with Daisy, she was so close to her dad.

She was such a daddy's girl.

He would always rock her to sleep and... she would sit on his lap in the chair in the morning and...

I worried a lot about how she would handle it.

Not that we wanted to erase a memory or, not have pictures and stuff, but it was hard to go by the place on the road where he'd been killed and his old practice, which was now an administrative building.

We decided it would be good to just not be living with ghosts all the time.

So, the plan was to go somewhere not too far away, and... not so much larger that it would be a shock to the kids.

And where they could still come back and visit their friends.

[Charlie] After Dad died, we looked around and looked around at places.

And the decision to move to Maryville... it fit like a shoe. It was everything we could've asked for.

It was about an hour from Albany.

It was small, but it was also big enough that everybody didn't know everything about you.

The football team had just won state that year.

So, I knew I was gonna get to play football for a powerhouse program and I kinda fell in love with the entire thing.

I was my own person, finally, and none of it had to do with anything bad that had ever happened before.

[crowd cheering]

[players grunting]

[Jim Fall] Last year, the high school, the university, the junior high, the junior varsity...

Nobody lost a football game.

We were like 60-0 for the year.

This gets really hokey, but that's... that's small-town America, and that's...

That's where we are and I guess that's what I am, and I'm proud of it.

[Melinda] It just felt like a fresh start and kind of a weight lifted.

[woman] Okay, sweetie. All set.

[Melinda] It's kind of empowering in a way.

To... have to support the whole family and the triumphs, the feeling strong.

We were pretty happy there for a while.

[Charlie] Good.

Right when things started getting better, Daisy's sexual assault case happened and...

Maryville being that kind of blessing to me and my family just...

It really did kind of dissolve in an overnight fashion.

[Daisy] Do you know how, like, Jay Z, it's like J-A-Y-Z?

-[Paige] Yeah. -I'm doing that, but with a D.

-So it's like Day-Z. -Oh. [chuckles]

[Paige] Where are the scissors?

[Daisy in funny accent] You know what? Quit your whining.

I buy you a T-shirt with some glittered letters and all you do is complain.

I pay for your school. I feed you, clothe you.

Put a roof over your head. All I hear is naggin'.

[Robin Bourland] For Paige, I think, it's kind of a double-edged sword.

The juvenile that assaulted Paige went to court and the judge asked him if he had raped Paige.

And he said, "Yes." He said, "Was she intoxicated?"

And he said, "Yes." He said, "Did she tell you 'no'?"

And he said, "Yes."

He was the only one out of the whole bunch that admitted what he did.

And I think it was probably healing for her to hear that.

[Daisy] Don't be shady.

[Robin] The negative is, she carried around a lot of guilt about what happened to Daisy.

[Daisy] Ah, success.

[Daisy] I was just in kind of total shock.

Like, I thought something bad would never happen to me.

That after my dad died, like, I already had my deal of grief in life. I get to... just live a life where I'm invincible now, like...

And that's just a stupid teenage thought.

We really aren't invincible.

People really were kind of, like, verbally attacking me.

A lot people would just say things, like... calling me a liar.

I was told not to say anything because it could just mess with the case.

Like, I really wanted to stand up for myself, because not very many people were standing up for me.

[Charlie] One day, my sister was walking to class in the hallway from the bathroom.

This kid in my class, he decided he was gonna call her "a lying slut" and yell it outside of the door.

And she heard it and she ran back to the bathroom crying.

I can't tell you what kind of things ran through my mind.

I said something to him, like, along the lines of, "Don't you ever say anything to her again."

And I knew for a fact, he's a little weeny bag.

He would have been easy to kick the crap out of.

There was kind of a rumor, there was no for sure about it, but I found out from the grapevine that there was a video.

One of the few people I still talk to, had seen it and heard about it being passed around.

He said that it was kind of blurry and it was really dark.

And then it got more graphic and... him on top of her and she was just kind of, like... limp and not really functioning very well.

He guaranteed I didn't wanna see it and if I did, that bad things would happen.

[Glidden] I know I'm not as young, sharp and smart as you young guys.

[White] Within four hours of getting the initial call, that phone was in evidence.

Um, the phone was sent to the forensic laboratory in Kansas City.

Their report came back, said that whatever was on that phone was deleted and that through the magic of Apple computers, when they say delete, they mean delete.

It's not like a regular computer or an Android phone, where you can go back... Where you can go back... Move.

And you can piece stuff back together on a hard drive.

When they say delete, they mean delete.

All the people saying that there's a video out there, all the people that are saying that they saw a video, there's no nice way to say it, they're liars.

You know, unfortunately, you have a lot of people involved in this that are running around, telling a lot of stories.

Um... [clicks tongue]

You know, and without pointing fingers... it serves to benefit people's causes by making a lot of things up that really didn't happen and really doesn't exist.

But don't underestimate the need for attention.

Especially young girls.

There's a lot of pressure on young girls in our society to be pretty, to be liked, to... to be the popular one.

All of those things. And it's not fair, but it is how our society works.

[line ringing]

[White on phone] This is Darren.

[Melinda on phone] Hi, Darren. This is Melinda Coleman.

-[White] How are you? -[Melinda] All right. How are you?

[White] Oh, I'm all right.

[Melinda] Um, I... I guess I haven't heard anything at all.

I don't know what's going on at all with any of the case and I just kind of wanted to stay in the loop, if that was all right.

[White] Well, it's in the court system.

Of course, they've been arraigned. So now... there'll be hearings and more hearings and more hearings.

So, court things could drag out and...

[Melinda] Mmm-hmm.

[White] They... it can take literally months.

[Melinda] All right. And as far as the... the cell phone, the video's not retrievable.

You guys couldn't get anything out of that?

[White] No. Nothing at all.

[Melinda] Okay.

[White] I'm sure that you'll have more questions.

Feel free to call. Okay?

-[Melinda] All right. Thanks. -All right.

-[White] You bet. Bye. -Bye.

[phone beeps]

[Melinda] I called the sheriff and the prosecutor and they told me everything was great.

They had everything, not to worry, it would be in court for several more months.

Came home from work, stopped at the grocery store, and Robin, the mother of the other girl that was assaulted, called me and said, "Melinda, they dropped all the charges today."

[reporter] Charges are dropped against two Maryville teens accused in a sexual assault case.

The Nodaway County prosecutor dismissed a felony sexual assault charge against Matthew Barnett and a felony exploitation of a minor charge against Jordan Zech.

Rice says he did not believe he could prove the allegations against the teens beyond a reasonable doubt.

We did have all the medical and all the information where we could make a decision based on the evidence, and I am absolutely convinced that was the right call to do.

And it was the right decision to dismiss it.

[Melinda] You know what? They're just lying.

Initially, I thought it was only the boys.

But I think it goes deeper than that.

I think it's political.

[Robin] You know, the Barnetts are well-known in northwest Missouri.

The grandpa is a former state representative, former state highway patrolman.

And I hate to say that that had anything to do with it, but I really think it did.

In a small town, in a small area, everybody is related, everybody is somehow connected, and I think when you're, you know, in law enforcement, it's harder, sometimes, to separate yourselves.

[crowd cheering]

It became more important to shield the boys than it did to find justice for the girls.

The one that is the banner for your community, you don't wanna see them in trouble.

You don't wanna think those things about 'em.

They're the heroes of small towns.

I guess the wrong, if I wanna say "wrong," boy raped her.

[White] One of the parts that people have blown out of proportion in this entire case is that everybody wants to throw the word "rape" out there.

It's very popular.

The rape, the Maryville rape, the Coleman rape.

Nothing that occurred that night ever, ever, rose to the level of the elements of the crime of rape.

Whether... whether we agree with this or not, the people of that age, in the state of Missouri, can have consensual sex.

Forcible compulsion is the primary component of the crime of rape.

[stammers] You know, it's just not there.

[interviewer] So forcible compulsion doesn't apply if you have sex with somebody who is unconscious or semi-conscious?

Well, see, now, that's a whole... another... element for lawyers and legislators and people like that to figure out.

[Kevin Collison] Other media, some of them significant, had already written about it, but when we reported it and it was picked up in the world of social media, that's when this erupted into a firestorm and all this pressure suddenly developed.

[distorted voice] Two girls have been raped in the town of Maryville, Missouri.

Another high school football star, the grandson of a Missouri state official, has walked free.

How do the residents of Maryville sleep at night?

Online activist group Anonymous has called for an investigation on how the case was handled.

Demonstrators will gather at the county courthouse next week.

Tonight, Missouri's lieutenant governor is urging the state's attorney general and a county prosecutor to convene a grand jury to revisit a controversial case that was dismissed last year.

You know, I don't know if the whole nation needed to be involved in it.

I would've just liked to get the attention of a few people so that way something could have been done with it.

I talked to people here in town and at the school, and in both locations, people were very leery about talking to me on camera about this case.

[Fall] It's frightening when you had a square down here on the corner, full of people, lecturing about what a hellhole this is, you know.

They didn't know.

We know who we are and what we are, and we're comfortable with that.

The picture that was painted of us, I don't think that's what we are.

[reporter] All you have to do is google "Maryville," and you're gonna find hundreds of posts.

Many around here with whom I spoke say they're not happy with what they're reading.

In fact, they feel attacked and even threatened.

But what did she expect to happen at 1:00 in the morning, after sneaking out?

There are telltale signs of this girl actually lying.

[Paige] It made the whole town split up into sides.

It was the people that believed Daisy against... the Barnetts and their group of people that were very, very vicious.

[woman] "When an injustice happens to one in the community, an injustice happens to the community.

Daisy and Paige, we are here for you today."

[reporter] New developments in a teenage rape investigation in Maryville, Missouri, that has grabbed headlines nationwide.

The Jackson County prosecutor's office has been put in charge of taking a second look at the case.

[Daisy] I was excited.

I felt like I was going to be able to work with someone who was actually excited about this case and willing to put forth a real effort.

[Fall] Twenty years ago, we built a thousand-acre lake that has become an area of recreational draw and a championship golf course and one of the 100 best fishing places in the country and...

Does anybody come and report that? No.

But this comes up, and here it unloads on you.

[Jean Peters Baker] Whenever you get a call and someone says that judge so-and-so is calling, you hang up on that phone call you're on and you take the judge's call.

And the judge tells me his name and then he tells me he's from Nodaway County. And I just...

[sighs and chuckles]

My heart sunk a little bit, because I thought... [sighs]

"Oh, I bet I know why you're calling."

When the case is built on the testimony of the victim, those can be very, very hard.

And so, I tried to collect additional evidence.

There was nothing about the rape kit I had available to me that really gave us another "a-ha" moment.

We tried to go back and find the phone.

You know, "Did it exist? Did it exist at one time?

Could we still get it?"

We were unsuccessful in that regard.

[interviewer] What was the state of the case when it was handed to you?

In your professional opinion?

[sighs heavily]

I just don't think, um, I want to answer that question.

So, at the end of that investigation, I believed that we got as far as the evidence would take us.

Sometimes, that doesn't tell a full story.

But in this case, I believed the charge that I was able to go forward on...

I knew that I had the evidence to try.

Mr. Barnett pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree.

In this case, there was insufficient evidence to go forward on a sexual assault.

These are very hard cases.

The facts are hard, often.

The legal requirements can be very hard. And very hard to meet.

[Melinda] When... Jean Baker came out with the verdict, it just was really stressful.

We were waiting to see what was gonna happen, what they were gonna find in the investigation, and if anything was gonna be done.

So, when it finally came out that it was just gonna be probation, it was hard to deal with.

[White] As near as I can tell, the boys are the only ones that have decided that they wanna put this behind them, and try to move on with their lives, and try to make something of themselves. They...

I think that all of them, with the exception of the juvenile, who's still in high school, and I think that he's doing fine, but I think all of the boys are, um, going to college, and working, and trying to do better.

And this is one of the real fatal flaws of our society.

Is that it's always... it's always the boys. It's not always the boys.

The girls...

Girls have as much culpability in this world as boys do.

So, you know, everybody has to take their part of it.

And everybody has to do better.

[interviewer] I absolutely agree.

In this particular case, though, the crimes were committed by boys.

Were they? [laughs]

[Daisy] After the charges were dropped, it was just really one thing after another.

Like, all the drama with the social media, and then I was getting in fights.

I hated going to school, I hated going out in public.

I couldn't handle any more.

I wanted to fight back with everyone, and I wanted to, you know, I wanted them to believe me.

You already have this wound just ripped clean open and you're vulnerable and you're going through a really hard time, and to have all these people attacking you on top of it, it almost makes the bullying seem more extreme.

You begin to believe that these bad things they're saying about you are actually true.

So, your image of yourself completely changes and you kind of become a shell of yourself.

You almost see that, you know, doing away with yourself is the only way to fix things, which isn't the truth at all, but it's all you can truly see when you're sitting in a dark corner and you're not looking around at the light.

[Melinda] Afterwards, with the backlash, we started having issues with vandalism of the house.

We had issues with people threatening to beat up the kids.

I lost my job because of the case.

Then we had our house burned down in Maryville.

It was just...

really, really hard to believe.

We moved back to Albany.

Because we still had the house here, and I thought, at least, the kids would be safe.

Daisy was strong in the beginning, but then it just starts to wear you down, and she just got really into a dark place.

She started to really feel like it was her fault and feel like she should have done something different, and... she just internalized all the negativity.

She dyed her hair black. She shaved part of her head.

[voice breaking] She burned herself.

And every door in the house upstairs is broken, because... we've had to kick it in to save her when she's tried to overdose.



-[girl] Hi. -[chuckles]

Um, so where exactly?

[girl] Are they healing?

Make sure...

[tattoo needle whirring]

[Delaney chuckles]

[girl] This thing is bumming me out.

[Delaney] Finally, meeting Daisy, I learned... that, you know...

It was a reassurance that I'm not alone.

Oh, that feels fantastic. Holy crap!

[girl laughing]

[Delaney] Uh, this is a semicolon Daisy tattooed on me and it basically is a reminder to myself that my story's never over.

You know, it's not over yet, and that just like a sentence... like when you're writing or typing a sentence, a semicolon means, like, that's not the end.

Can I give you a hug? I'm Angela.

-Hi. -Hi.

Thank you so much for coming.

[Angela Rose] This is unprecedented, to bring these women together, and their moms... that collectively have made such a difference.

I know that this is scary, but that's why we need to get our stories and our experiences out there for other moms and other high school survivors, so they know that they're not alone and that this happens a lot.

Whoever wants to share first.

[Delaney] Okay. Um, I guess I'll go.

Okay, well, basically, when I was 16, uh, my parents went out of town and I had two girlfriends that were supposedly spending the night.

And I did not know, but they invited three boys over, two of which I had never met before.

And, um... we were all smoking weed and I had never done that before.

After a while, I remember everything just got really, like, uneven.

So, I got up and I went to my room and the two boys followed me in and they had locked the door.

I was really confused and didn't really know what was going on and they sexually assaulted me.

Um, then...

[voice breaking] Then I found out that the same guy had... sexually assaulted another girl eight months later.

[sighs] That part's really hard.

And of course I felt guilty, because if I had reported it... it wouldn't have happened to the other girl.

And she was 14.

[Ella] I don't really remember much, but...

I got up and tried to leave and they, punched me, knocked me out, cracked my jaw, and I was unconscious for six hours. And...

They both just continuously raped me for six hours, until I woke up.

And then, yeah, I... walked home in bloody clothes the next day.

[Jada] I was laid out, passed out on the floor, while the, um, 18-year old was on top of me.

They took pictures.

I'm sorry. [clears throat]

They took pictures. Uh, they posted it online.

And, uh...

We reported it as soon as it happened and it took them forever. And we had to report it again.

And then everything just went black. And then I remember waking up in my yard, half-frozen and trying to make it to the door.

And I remember not being able to feel my feet.

And I remember having this really vivid dream, almost like I was lucid dreaming, that my dad was just like, "Hey, you gotta get up and go inside." But no one really believed me.

[Delaney] It's unbelievable what people will say about you and what, you know, how the truth gets hidden when so many people don't believe you.

And even now, I fight every single day trying to convince myself that what I did was right and what I'm still doing is right, so, um...

I mean, just having Daisy, and Ella and Jada, like...

I feel like we are an army, so...

I'm glad I have all of you guys here today. [chuckles]

[tattoo needle whirring]

[man] The water is so cold, every time.

[Daisy chuckles]

[Charlie] I think Daisy's coping with things a lot better.

We've gotten her into some intensive counseling.

She's still that sweet girl, but she's like a hedgehog.

She's got the quills and she'll poke you with them before you ever get to anything soft.

It's sad, but...

I'm sure not scooping her up off the bathroom floor, running her to the ER on my shoulder anymore and that, in itself, is a blessing to me.

[Charlie and boys] Dear Lord.

The battles we go through in life.

Give us a chance that's fair.

A chance to earn our stripes.

If we should win.

Let it be by the code.

If we should lose.

We stand by the road.

Day by day!

We get better and better!

Till we can't be beat!

Won't be beat!

-[Charlie] Let's go, boys. -[boys] Go, boys!

[Charlie] The signs. Do we remember the signs?

[boys] Steal.


[boys] Three hard steps.

Yeah, three hard steps.

Any questions? Any at all?

All right. Get focused. Let's go.

[Charlie] I never pictured myself being a Little League coach.

When they asked me to do it, I kind of rolled my eyes, like, "They're not gonna stand a chance, I'm gonna make them run."

And, you know, you bond with those kids.

-Go. -[boy] Run it out! Run it out!


[Charlie] I don't think I ever thought about teaching them greater life lessons until I had heard a couple boys making comments about a girl, and I said, "All right, we're having a pow-wow now," and I circled everybody up and I was like, "Here's the thing, guys, I'm here to teach you baseball, but this isn't the kind of stuff I accept.

This isn't what I'm about.

If it's what you're about, that's fine, but that's not what we are gonna be about and you are more than welcome to take yourself out of here."

After that one incident, something clicked. It really did click.

I don't look to be their father or anything, but I thought, "I want to be part of something bigger than myself."

And maybe I can kind of help them along.


[boy] Race ya.

There you go. There you go.

[crowd cheering]

[Charlie] I really just enjoy watching them grow.

Because in the process, they help me, they teach me a lot more about myself and how I was at that age, and I guess I really start to understand a lot more.

-Atta boy. -[man] Way to go.

Way to help yourself, Johnny.

[man] Come on, Johnny.

[Sheila] We said our goodbyes to Audrie.

But, I mean, we kept thinking, you know, "What could have been so bad that would've driven her to this?"

After the night of the sexual assault, her communications were captured on Facebook Messenger.

Sometimes the person tormenting her was faceless or nameless.

We know from what she said in her process of investigating her own crime that she felt, because of what had happened to her, her reputation was ruined.

And it was ruined forever.

She didn't see... any light at the end of the tunnel, any future.

[Larry] The boys, they were 15 at the time.

They were convicted of having child pornography, um, and committing, um, sexual battery.

Multiple felonies for each boy.

One of 'em got 30 days, one of 'em got 45 days.

But it was non-consecutive, it was weekend only.

Basically, weekend detention.

They were never suspended or expelled.

We pretty much knew that, as juveniles, they were gonna get a slap on the wrist.

All right, I should give you the terms and we can go over them right now.

Number one, the boys admit the allegations as contained in the respected criminal complaints that pertain to Audrie Pott.

[lawyer] The second term was that their written apology is public.

They're sorry for the family's loss, and they basically go through all the things that were important to Larry and Sheila.

The amazing thing about this is, had we have gone to a trial, we would never have been able to get the result that we got.

And who knows how you would...

[Sheila] We brought the wrongful death suit because we knew that we weren't gonna get justice in the juvenile court.

I felt that, in the civil suit at least, it would be public and people would know what really happened.

It was about them taking responsibility and accountability for their actions.

But ultimately, for us, it was about clearing Audrie's name.

Yes. Something very wrong happened here. It shouldn't happen to anyone else.

And the only reason, we all know, because Audrie was extremely private, that we could have brought it forward is because she's not with us anymore.

I think, more so than ever before, this subject is out there, and people are talking about it, and this has to stop.

[John R] Part of our settlement in the lawsuit was to... have a 45-minute interview with you guys here.

We had to, um...

We had to plead to stuff in order for me to graduate, um, high school.

I've definitely learned from all this.

I mean, there's a lot of different things that guys and girls think.

[interviewer 1] What have you learned about girls?

Um, I mean, girls, they gossip, really. [chuckles]

There's a lot of gossip between girls and, uh, you know, um...

guys are more laid-back and don't really care.

So, that's what I've learned, for sure.

[interviewer 2] I'm curious if there was a moment during that night, when you knew, "This has gone too far."

Was there a moment like that for you?

[John R] Yeah.

[interviewer 2] Can you talk about that?

[John R] Well, I don't know, I've kind of always been unhappy after that. I mean...

It's... it wasn't right and...

I knew that, I mean, at the time.

There was drinking involved, and it's not like... we thought everything was okay.

I mean, yeah... [stammers] Nothing was okay, but...

I've always felt, like, not okay about it.

Like, I don't know, every day or so.

I don't know what I really thought back then.

But I just never imagined anything like what happened now.

I don't know. I didn't imagine my whole life to be changed...

Yeah, I don't know.

Like, forever changed, so...

[Daisy] Personally, I don't know what has happened with the boys since that night.

But I have a feeling that, you know, since they haven't had to go through as much crap as I have, that they haven't really had time to reflect on who they are as people or else they would've stepped forward and taken responsibility.

Honestly, at this point in my life, I can't even recognize the person I was four years ago.

At one point in time, I really... I just wanted revenge and that's all I wanted and stuff, but...

I mean, it's a lot harder just living your life full of hate and everything, so I just figured, at one point, I was like, "I'm kind of done with just being mad at everyone, and being mad all the time, and just being a big ball of emotion.

I wanna be happy and move on with my life."

So that's just kind of what I did, I mean...

And that doesn't always mean just forgetting the past, it just kind of means forgiving the past.

[crowd applauding]

[man] Daisy Coleman is a recipient of an athletic scholarship from Missouri Valley College.

[applauding and cheering]

The class of 2015 awards an honorary diploma to Audrie Taylor Pott.

[crowd cheering and applauding]

I was way too afraid to report it because I was bullied, I was ostracized, I was threatened.

I found my voice when I decided to show my face in my first interview.

The guys recorded and took photos of the sexual assault, and then posted them online.

Finally, after being misunderstood for years and going through so much pain and absolutely hating myself, I decided that, if no one's gonna talk about it, then I will.

Since my friends didn't stand up for me, I urge other people to speak out, because you can't ignore an army of voices.

And I would like to see people stand up for others who have been assaulted.

Because the words of our enemies aren't as awful as the silence of our friends.

Thank you.

[rock music playing]