City of Maryville feeling the heat from media backlash after sexual assault case gains attention

MARYVILLE, Mo. - The phones at Maryville City Hall have been ringing more than usual this week.

They've gotten more than a hundred phone calls from out-of-towners, but very few from people with something nice to say.

"Certainly it's devastating for our community to receive as many violent posts as we have," City Manager Greg McDanel said.

Ask the majority of those callers about Maryville just a week ago and they probably couldn't point it out on a map. But that all changed when a sexual assault case involving two teens thrust the town into the national spotlight.

In the past few days, more details emerged about a teen who claims she and her family had to move out of the small Missouri town after she was raped and her case was dismissed.

"A few days ago it was forgotten about," Maryville business owner Bill Walker said.  "It's everywhere, you know, where is this going to and how far is this going to go?"

People like Walker have seen their city mentioned on almost every social media site with messages calling them immoral and warning people not to visit.

It's currently the latest target by a social media hacking group called Anonymous.

The Nodaway County Sheriff's Office had to take down their website after receiving several hacking threats.

"Maryville's just another city, we have our problems just like everybody else," Walker said.

Except now, Maryville's problem has become the world's, through social media.

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