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article imageSex assault case dismissed after alleged victim commits suicide

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 11, 2010 in Crime
The scene outside of the courtroom was filled with emotions after the case against an 18-year-old American accused of rape was dismissed because the alleged victim had committed suicide.
In September, 14-year-old Samantha Kelly and her mother, June Justice, went to the Huron Township police station, in Michigan, to file a sexual assault report against 18-year-old Joseph Tarnopolski.
CBS News reported that, at the time it was considered a statutory rape case, meaning they had consensual sex but that she was underage.
On Oct. 18, during a television interview, Justice criticized the school for not protecting her daughter and accused Tarnopolski of rape.
She said that after that the taunting began, which led to Kelly hanging herself on Nov. 8.
On Wednesday the sexual assault charges were dropped, as prosecutors said there was no case without the accuser's testimony.
"Our witness was the evidence and her testimony was going to be our evidence in the case," CNN quoted Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, as saying. "Our heart goes out to the family in what is just a tragic case."
When Tarnopolski left the courtroom he said: "It's sad it happened, but there's not much I can do," reported MyFoxDetroit.
Justice screamed at him and had to be restrained.
"It should have never been dismissed,” she said. “My daughter, who was forcibly made to have sex with an 18-year-old, and they won't do anything even after her death.”
Tarnopolski told WDIV that the sex was a mutual thing and he has text messages proving that.
"It's her parents that pushed it as hard they did," he said.
A police investigation indicated the sexual encounter was consensual.
A memorial Facebook page "RIP, Samantha Kelly" has been set up, but some comments insulting the girl have had to be removed.
More about Rape, Suicide, Dismissed, Kelly, Assault
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