In 2012, Daisy Coleman’s life in Maryville, Mo., descended into madness.
After she sneaked into a high school senior’s house and drank, the boy had sex with her, while another boy did the same with Daisy’s friend, and a third student video-recorded one of the scenes. Felony charges were filed that would later be dropped.
Then many in the town turned on Daisy and her family, and cyberbullying unleashed its wrath on the teenager. “That’s what you get for bein a skank : ),” read one tweet, one of many expletive-filled comments posted publicly about Daisy. After her family moved, their empty Maryville house was destroyed by fire, cause unknown. The Star detailed Daisy’s harrowing story in October 2013.
In January 2014, Matthew Barnett pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor child endangerment for leaving Daisy barefoot and incoherent in freezing temperatures in her front yard at 2 a.m. that night. He also and apologized to Daisy, who was 14 at the time of the incident, for what had happened. Special prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said there was “insufficient evidence” to file felony sexual assault charges against Barnett.
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Daisy’s story is part of the documentary “Audrie & Daisy,” directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk. Netflix picked up the film after it was shown in January at the Sundance Film Festival.
In California, three teenage boys, prosecuted in juvenile court, admitted to sexually assaulting 15-year-old Audrie Pott when she was passed out drunk at a party. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the boys also had cellphone photos of her half-stripped body, but prosecutors could not "prove the boys circulated the photos widely."
Audrie committed suicide eight days after the assault. Daisy survived her suicide attempts.
“Audrie & Daisy” will begin streaming on Netflix on Sept. 23.
Netflix will also make the film available for free to any campus or community organizations that want to use it for public screening and discussions this fall. Visit audrieanddaisy.com for more information.