Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Old 11-11-10, 02:16 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
JumpCutz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: south of heaven
Posts: 13,540
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

People suck. RIP Samantha.

This is depressing...


HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. " Samantha Kelly endured merciless taunting from classmates after they learned that the high school freshman had accused a senior of rape.

The weeks of harassment eventually became too much. Samantha went home from school Monday and hanged herself in this community southwest of Detroit.

With their key witness dead, prosecutors on Wednesday dropped criminal charges against the older student, saying they had no case without the accuser's testimony.

Samantha's mother screamed at 18-year-old Joseph Tarnopolski after his brief court appearance and had to be restrained by a relative. She told reporters she was not consulted about the decision to dismiss the third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.

"My daughter did not get any justice," June Justice said.

Samantha's accusations became known to many of her neighbors and classmates after she and her mother spoke to a local television station about the matter. Samantha's face was blocked out, but word of her allegations quickly spread.

"People wanted to beat her up - people who were friends of Joe," said Ayla Raines, who also attended Huron High School. "Not to her face. She heard from other people that they wanted to beat her up."

Another student, Calie Bouchard, said 14-year-old Samantha was confronted once in the lunch room by a group of girls who insisted she was lying.

"She started breaking down in tears," Calie said. Principal Donovan Rowe said school officials investigated the alleged bullying and found nothing overt. Rowe said on occasion he walked behind Samantha as she went from class to class and witnessed no harassment.
Huron Township police said Justice brought her daughter to the station on Sept. 27, a day after the encounter with Tarnopolski, to file a sexual assault report. At the time it was considered a statutory rape case, meaning the pair had consensual sex but that she was under the age of consent.

Justice also met with school officials and asked to keep the matter confidential, the principal said. Initially, he added, there was no animosity between the two families.

School officials said they were blindsided by the Oct. 18 television report in which Justice criticized administrators for not taking action to protect her daughter.

Before the story aired on Detroit station WJBK, Justice "was pretty complimentary of us," Rowe said. "She indicated she wanted to move her daughter to another school, but Samantha wanted to stay here."

Samantha had not been at school for about two weeks before returning Monday morning with her mother.

"Her mom had mentioned some harassment," Rowe said. "I asked her specifically if it was happening here. She said no. It was happening in the trailer park."

Samantha told close friends she was constantly being intimidated.

"She told me she was being extremely bullied, and it was extremely stressful," said 16-year-old Devyn Waldecker, a neighbor in the Huron Estates mobile home park. "People bumped into her in the hallways at school. On two occasions after school, people tried to jump her."

Waldecker, who attends another school, wanted to help the girl she had befriended just this past June, but "really didn't know what to do."

"I told her I was there for her - anything she needed from me," Waldecker said.

Samantha didn't deserve such an ordeal, said Devyn's mother, Shannon Waldecker. "Sam was a very sweet, soft-spoken person and very honest."

After school Tuesday, Devyn Waldecker learned from Samantha's mother that her good friend was dead.

"I was shocked and heartbroken," the girl said.

On Wednesday, Wayne County prosecutor's spokeswoman Maria Miller said the case against Tarnopolski could not proceed "because the sole evidence ... was the complainant."

Attorney Joseph Kosmala, a Detroit-area defense lawyer who was not involved in the case, said the prosecutor seemed to have no other choice.


Attorney Joseph Kosmala, a Detroit-area defense lawyer who was not involved in the case, said the prosecutor seemed to have no other choice.

"Sexual assaults are not crimes that typically take place in front of witnesses. They're private crimes," Kosmala said. "Unless the complainant can sit in the witness chair and point the finger, there is no case."

Police notified school officials Monday night about the suicide. Students were told the next day that a schoolmate had died and that counselors were available.

Tarnopolski's attorney, Jacqueline George, called the case "a sad situation" for all involved. "I hope both families can heal," she said.

A Facebook page was created to memorialize Samantha and by Wednesday afternoon had more than 550 friends. It reads, "R.I.P., Samantha Kelly. You will be missed. We love you."

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_16576815?source=rss
Old 11-11-10, 03:52 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
antennaball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: The 7-8-Triple6, Texas
Posts: 3,622
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by JumpCutz View Post
"My daughter did not get any justice," June Justice said.
How odd.
Old 11-11-10, 07:11 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,746
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

I had to read that story a couple of times to figure it out. So:

An underage girl has consensual sex with an older boy. Mom brings her to the police station to file charges of statutory rape. Mom goes on TV to accuse the boy of rape, so the whole town knows. Public opinion at the school turns hard against the girl, and she is harassed (except in front of the principal). Girl hangs herself. State drops charges because there is no evidence. Mom screams at boy in courtroom.

I blame Mom.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 11-11-10 at 07:20 AM.
Old 11-11-10, 07:48 AM
  #4  
Enormous Genitals
 
Bandoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a small cottage on a cul de sac in the lower pits of hell.
Posts: 33,237
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

I'm against this sort of thing.
Old 11-11-10, 07:57 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
astrochimp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 17,788
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

I'll side with the majority on this one.
Old 11-11-10, 08:46 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 13,986
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Okay, Romeo, your turn now.
Old 11-11-10, 09:39 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Dr Mabuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: 75 clicks above the Do Lung bridge...
Posts: 18,950
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
I'm against this sort of thing.
Old 11-11-10, 10:00 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
movie diva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

I also blame the mom, she wanted the publicity.
Old 11-11-10, 11:00 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cungar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 21,630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by movie diva View Post
I also blame the mom, she wanted the publicity.
I don't think it's fair to say she "wanted publicity". You make her sound like a fame whore. She definitely went about it the wrong way and shares some blame but it's obvious she wanted to bring attention to the case, not "publicity".
Old 11-11-10, 11:23 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Meglos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 5,409
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Stupid mom.
Old 11-11-10, 11:42 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,805
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Stupid town, I say we nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
Old 11-11-10, 11:48 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Relocated to Bot-Hell
Posts: 10,244
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by Nifty03 View Post
Stupid town, I say we nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
This.
Old 11-11-10, 11:50 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
tommyp007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Kingsport, TN
Posts: 5,732
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I had to read that story a couple of times to figure it out. So:

An underage girl has consensual sex with an older boy. Mom brings her to the police station to file charges of statutory rape. Mom goes on TV to accuse the boy of rape, so the whole town knows. Public opinion at the school turns hard against the girl, and she is harassed (except in front of the principal). Girl hangs herself. State drops charges because there is no evidence. Mom screams at boy in courtroom.

I blame Mom.
agree 100%
Old 11-11-10, 11:57 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NYC-ish
Posts: 3,270
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Although the truth may never be known (was it rape rape, was it statutory but consensual), it is unfortunate that this series of events ended with a girl hanging herself.
Old 11-11-10, 11:59 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I had to read that story a couple of times to figure it out. So:

An underage girl has consensual sex with an older boy. Mom brings her to the police station to file charges of statutory rape. Mom goes on TV to accuse the boy of rape, so the whole town knows. Public opinion at the school turns hard against the girl, and she is harassed (except in front of the principal). Girl hangs herself. State drops charges because there is no evidence. Mom screams at boy in courtroom.

I blame Mom.
This is how I read it. Girl was pitted between her mom and a bunch of kids who probably saw nothing wrong because older boys have sex with younger girls all the time in high school. Very sad.

I would tend to blame our age of consent laws.
Old 11-11-10, 12:29 PM
  #16  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Earth
Posts: 3,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I had to read that story a couple of times to figure it out. So:

An underage girl has consensual sex with an older boy. Mom brings her to the police station to file charges of statutory rape. Mom goes on TV to accuse the boy of rape, so the whole town knows. Public opinion at the school turns hard against the girl, and she is harassed (except in front of the principal). Girl hangs herself. State drops charges because there is no evidence. Mom screams at boy in courtroom.

I blame Mom.
Woo...hold on a minute. There was a series of event that led to the girl committing suicide. Starting from the older boy having sex with an underage girl, mom goes on TV, public opinion turned on the girl, the girl getting harassed and not the least of it the girl hanged herself. Each of these are contributing factors to the girl killing herself. And yes, including the poor judgment of committing suicide on the girl's part. There are plenty of blames to go around. If you really want to point to one person, why isn't the boy or the students at the school gets the blame? At least mom's motivation came from love. It would seem to me the focus has turned yet again away from the real culprit here.
Old 11-11-10, 12:50 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
FantasticVSDoom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: No longer trapped
Posts: 11,610
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Its not 100% mom's fault no, but there is enough blame here to go around... Mom, the townies, the trailer park, etc.
Old 11-11-10, 01:56 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 18,243
Received 13 Likes on 10 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

The bullying and intimidation seems cruel, but the public is generally pretty disdainful of our rape shield laws. This girl gets to make life destroying allegations against this guy and she gets to do it while having her face an identity hidden by the media. We'll never know the truth in this case, but I'm partially sympathetic to the students for rejecting and intimidating her. Rape shield laws are bullshit.
Old 11-11-10, 02:02 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,941
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I had to read that story a couple of times to figure it out. So:

An underage girl has consensual sex with an older boy. Mom brings her to the police station to file charges of statutory rape. Mom goes on TV to accuse the boy of rape, so the whole town knows. Public opinion at the school turns hard against the girl, and she is harassed (except in front of the principal). Girl hangs herself. State drops charges because there is no evidence. Mom screams at boy in courtroom.

I blame Mom.
Agreed. I blame the Mom as well.
Old 11-11-10, 02:20 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: I'm Still Alive in Los Angeles...or am I?
Posts: 27,815
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Another child dead? 14 years old? Just a babe in the woods. What a precious waste.



Samantha Kelly
Old 11-11-10, 02:30 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 5,696
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Rape charge dropped after accuser commits suicide

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
The bullying and intimidation seems cruel, but the public is generally pretty disdainful of our rape shield laws.
I agree. The high school students were clearly staging a rather successful protest against rape shield laws.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.