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A public rally for alleged rape victim Daisy Coleman, the young girl at the center of the Missouri teen rape case, is scheduled for tomorrow.
The rally comes after a Missouri prosecutor, who dropped charges in the controversial rape case, announced he will ask a court to appoint a special prosecutor to review the facts and look at possibly refiling charges. Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert L. Rice said Wednesday that he was making the request after CNN aired interviews last week with the alleged victim, Daisy Coleman, who says she was raped when she was 14, and her mother.
The alleged perpetrator, Matthew Barnett, is now in college. His parents say the national attention to this case is causing him "major issues" and their son is being "assassinated."
"It's the exact same thing that happened to me, just more drastic. I was basically forced to move away from Maryville because of all the bullying, and all of the threats," Daisy Coleman said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
CNN does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault but has done so in this case because Daisy and her mother have chosen to go public.
"I'm sorry that it had to be this way, and (his) parents had to go through this, but again, it's almost the same thing that happened with me," said Daisy Coleman.
"I think it's wrong to act like he did nothing wrong, I think it's wrong to not allow him to be punished," said Daisy's mother, Melinda Coleman.
The mother of four said her heart goes out to the perpetrator's parents, saying she has three sons and if one of them committed such a horrible crime, she would be heartsick, but would still want to love and support him.
But, with the help of his parents, the young man in question has gone unpunished for too long, said Melinda Coleman.
"There have already been other girls coming forward now, there were other girls before, and they terrorized them and made sure they didn't testify," said Melinda Coleman. "This has been a pattern for them."
"He has a lot more guilt in this than they're admitting," said Melinda Coleman. "They need to let him pay at least some price, and some punishment so he can learn; I hope it doesn't take him killing some girl."
Daisy Coleman's rape counselor advised her if the case goes to trial, the defendant's attorneys would likely be tough on her if she testifies, but the young girl said she is prepared.
"Before I didn't have as thick of a skin, so I believe now that I have so many supporters, and I have learned to, kind of just deal with the criticism, I feel as if I am ready," said Daisy Coleman.
The mother and daughter said they will forgo tomorrow's rally, citing safety concerns.
"We were pondering it, but it sounds almost as if it wouldn't be safe for us to go, just because of all the people in Maryville being very angry with the case right now," said Daisy Coleman, adding that they are thankful for all the people attending the rally.
"We don't want it to incite any violence or any escalation," said Melinda Coleman.
Organized by a Facebook page campaign called "Justice for Daisy," the rally will take place outside the Nodaway County Courthouse; protesters will carry daisies in their hands.