I Was Raped, Left to Die, Harassed by My Classmates -- the Boy Who Did it Never Faced Justice
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Editor's note: Last Sunday, the Kansas City Star published a harrowing feature about a young woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by a popular football player from a powerful family. While her family faced harassment in the town -- her mother lost her job, and their house burned down -- charges were dropped against her alleged attacker. She tells her side of the story below.
Winter: cold, bleak, bitter, ugly. Almost like summer has taken off its mask and shown its true colors. Everyone is forced to see how ugly life can truly be. Others get a season of beauty: summer.
My whole life since January 8, 2012, has been a long, reckless winter.
The night everything changed I was having an old friend over to catch up and have fun. Her name is Paige, and she is a year younger than I am. At the time, she was 13, and I was 14.
We had been best friends since we were both very young, and continued to be best friends, even though I had moved from Albany to Maryville. She was in the eighth grade, and I was in the midst of my freshman year.
Life, overall, was great.
I was on the varsity cheer squad, a competitive dance team and had a lot of friends.
Paige is my best friend. Watching scary movies was always our thing. So, that's how we kicked off our night, along with alcoholic beverages. My mom didn't know we were drinking, and I was not supposed to be.
That night I was texting with a boy that my older brother had warned me about, but I didn't listen. Looking back, I wish I did.
It wasn't until later that night that Matt, a popular senior boy, had asked to hang out. Of course, I knew my brothers wouldn't allow this so, we had to sneak out. It was about one in the morning when my friend and I climbed out of my bedroom window. I was not interested in Matt romantically. I considered him my older brother's friend. I trusted my older brother. I trusted Matt.
Matt picked us up in a black car and drove us to his house. He had to sneak us through a basement window.
There were bedrooms and a living room area in the basement. I sat on the couch and gathered familiar faces from the room. Four of Matt's friends were there. Matt emerged from one of the bedrooms with a bottle of clear alcohol he wanted me to drink. This is when one of Matt's friends suggested I drink from a tall shot glass, which they labeled the "bitch cup."
About five shots tall, I drank it. I guess I didn't know how badly it would mess me up. But the boys who gave it to me did.
Then it was like I fell into a dark abyss. No light anywhere. Just dark, dense silence -- and cold. That's all I could ever remember from that night. Apparently, I was there for not even an entire hour before they discarded me in the snow.
Waking up was a complete blur. I had to be carried into my mother's bedroom, in complete and total confusion. I was freezing and sick and bruised, my hair in icy chunks weighted against me. When my mom gave me a bath, she saw that I was hurt down in my privates.
We all knew something wasn't right. Something had gone wrong in the night.