This isn't getting reported in the Maryville, Mo., rape case stories Mother and daughter claim the rich and powerful alleged rapists' family denied them justice. They say the well-connected family pressured the county prosecutor into dropping the case. The mother and daughter went on Dr. Phil to plead their case and demand justice. So far so good. Sounds like a small town replay of Payton Place and the bad guys won. Not so fast. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_...quested-to-re-examine-mo-sexual-assault-case/ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/15/missouri-rape-case-outrage/2989365/ The Kansas City Star splashed a report across the front page of the paper a day or two after the Dr. Phil episode appeared, and interviewed Rice for it. They didn't publish anything about the Fifth Amendment statement in that story, even though Rice has been saying since July, when the charges were dropped against the 17-year-old football player investigated for the rape, that the family wouldn't cooperate. Why does a rape victim find it necessary to plead the Fifth? Asked that question, the girl and her mother wouldn't answer, beyond some vagaries about the slowness of the justice system. What's that got to do with fear of incriminating one's self? The hype over this case strikes me as being highly slanted and unfairly paints law enforcement and the local judicial system as being at fault. You can't make that judgment, however, until you know what's true and what isn't. I have to wonder, what is the possibility of a young girl, depressed and distraught over the loss of her beloved dad three years earlier and now living in a new town, has a friend over for a sleepover. She's trying to fit in, trying to make friends, trying to ... make the pain go away. The pair admitted sneaking out of the house at 1:00 a.m. They went to the party, that much is obvious. So how about this? She drinks, gets drunk, knows she has a fair-minded but discipline conscious mom at home, who also, incidentally, is dealing with the loss of the man she loved, the girl's daughter. The girl, thinking she is too drunk to avoid getting caught and perhaps feeling guilty at causing her mom more pain if she gets caught drinking for the first time creates a scene on her front porch, sans shoes, jacket, etc., and then tells a story that fits the scene. What if the story was fake? I mean, if we're going to speculate without facts, let's really speculate! How is it the girl's story gets investigated by competent police, reviewed by one of the best prosecutors in the state, efforts to file charges are undertaken, but when it comes time to interview the witness, she clams up? How is it that national news outlets like The Star, CNN, ABC, etc., tell the whole story -- except that the girl pleaded the Fifth in her deposition? It isn't that the prosecutor just "remembered" that fact. He's been saying it since July. How does it get ignored among the national media? Why does it get ignored by the national media? Don't tell me about small towns. I grew in Bethany, 60 miles from Maryville. This is the region of North Missouri where Ken Rex McElroy ruled the criminal element for a decade and a half and had the citizenry within a 150-mile radius terrorized until the town of Skidmore got fed up with him and did him in. So don't tell me about small towns. I know small towns. Maryville is the home of Northwest Missouri State University. This is a professional law enforcement community. They are not prone to intimidation, they are not prone to corruption. This sheriff's department has had some of the toughest small-town criminal cases to deal with over the last 40 years that any agency anywhere has had to deal with. Google "Tess Hilt, Northwest Missouri State coed." Google "Ken Rex McElroy." Google "Merrigan family murdered Maryville." This department has dealt with major crime, and knows how to handle an investigation. Now, all that doesn't mean the current crop of officials couldn't be "bought." I'll be the first to say that. But regardless of the regional and national media's willingness to jump to conclusions that go against the facts and reputation associated with that system, I am not so willing, not without facts, not without answers to questions that the national media hasn't even bothered to ask. I'm not saying the Barnett kid didn't rape her, and regardless, he is guilty, under Missouri law, of at least taking advantage of an incapacitated minor. That's a charge the prosecutor was willing to file, but again, the victim took the Fifth. That's something that simply gets ignored in the national wave of "reporting." There is a lot unexplained with this case. We need the facts before we make a judgment about anything.