Hackers seek revenge for unprosecuted rape – the rest of us ask “Why was there no prosecution?” UPDATED

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Popular Culture et al
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Hackers seek revenge for unprosecuted rape

The other day, I watched an excellent movie about the young julian Assange, called “Underground”.

It was fascinating, and contained some excellent performances: from Rachel Griffiths, especially, as his campaigning, “alternative” mother, fleeing from the cult known as The Family, and Laura Wheelwright as his girlfriend and young mother of Assange’s child.

It essentially covered what motivated Assange to take the life course he did, and I believe most people viewing it would be much less antagonistic to him today than they otherwise might be. The genesis of what later became Wikileaks is clear to see.

Anyway, that’s by the by. What the movie does show clearly is that hackers are not only motivated by a sense of mischief – which is undoubtedly true – but also, often, by holding strong moral positions.

Now, a group of vigilante hackers has promised retribution after the alleged rape of a high school cheerleader went unprosecuted in a rural American town.

Anonymous activists often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks

Anonymous activists often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks

Time US reports that Anonymous, an international band of internet activists, is targeting the Missouri town of Maryville after the Kansas City Star published a story about a possible rape case that went un-prosecuted by local authorities.

Known for successful hacks of powerful organisations such as the Church of Scientology, PayPal and even the government of Brazil, an Anonymous synthesized voice recording warned Maryville Mayor Jim Fall and other officials to “expect us”.

“If Maryville won’t defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them,” the statement says.

The Kansas City Star reports that in the early hours of January 8, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman and a 13-year-old friend climbed from a bedroom window to join their 17-year-old “friend” at his house.

At the time, the 17-year-old was a Maryville High School football star and Daisy was a freshman cheerleader.

The boy, also the grandson of a former state Republican, later admitted to police that he knew the girl was drinking at his house and that he had sex with her while she was drunk, according to the Kansas City Star. The encounter was allegedly recorded on a friend’s iPhone.

Other witnesses told police the 17-year-old loaded the girl, in tears, into his car and shockingly left her unconscious on her front porch in freezing temperatures. When Daisy’s mother found her the following morning her hair was frozen.

Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White told the Star that he “absolutely” expected the case to end up in court.

“Within four hours, we had obtained a search warrant for the house and executed that. We had all of the suspects in custody and had audio/video confessions.”

Instead – and surely the public should know why – the charges were dropped, and much of the town turned on the Coleman family.

Daisy’s mother Melinda was fired from her job, and – after the Colemans left town – their house burned down under suspicious circumstances.

We haven’t heard the last of this story. Nor should we.

The young girl at the centre of the case has been the subject of a cruel whispering and insults campaign online, and has apparently attempted suicide twice. Further background to this appalling story can be read here:

If you wish to Tweet your feelings about this case, the hashtag to use is #justicefordaisy.

(Daisy’s mother gave the Kansas City Star permission to name her daughter. From The West Australian and others.)

UPDATE

A Special Prosecutor has now been appointed to consider the case. Stay tuned for further information as it comes to hand. And a rally has taken place in the town to stress support for Daisy. Over 200 people, dressed in local indentifying clothing and carrying daisies, came together to change the nature of the local debate.

Support for Daisy swells

Support for Daisy swells locally

#justicefordaisy

#justicefordaisy

The role of Anonymous in bringing this case to light is entirely noble and to be applauded.

The role of Anonymous in bringing this case to light is entirely noble and to be applauded.

 

Meanwhile, you can read Daisy’s own harrowing version of events here. http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/daisy-coleman-maryville-rape

Comments
  1. […] Hackers seek revenge for unprosecuted rape – the rest of us ask “Why was there no prosec… […]

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