COURT CONTROVERSY

Rape Charges Dropped Against MI Teen

A Detroit court dismissed rape charges against an 18-year-old boy on Wednesday, after his accuser, a 14-year-old classmate, committed suicide. Judge Brian Oakley dropped the criminal sexual conduct charges against Joseph Tarnopolski, 18, saying the prosecutor’s office didn’t have enough evidence to proceed. The victim, Samantha Kelly, killed herself Monday; family members said her fellow classmates had harassed the girl when they heard of the charges against Tarnopolski. The girl’s mother, June Justice, pleaded with the judge to continue the case—and after the ruling, said “my daughter did not get any justice before this and she did not get any justice today.” Tarnopolski said he was “sad” about Kelly’s suicide, but said “there is not much I can do.”