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Rape Charge Dropped After Teen Accuser's Suicide

Samantha Kelly, 14, was bullied by classmates after senior charged
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2010 1:22 AM CST
Updated Nov 11, 2010 6:45 AM CST
Rape Rap Dropped After Teen Accuser's Suicide
A stuffed animal memorial is shown at the home of Samantha Kelly in Huron Township, Mich.    (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Friends and family of Samantha Kelly say the 14-year-old girl was relentlessly bullied after accusing a popular senior at her high school of raping her. The charges against Joseph Tarnopolski, 18, have now been dropped after Kelly hanged herself at her Michigan home after coming home from school earlier this week, the Detroit Free Press reports. A judge dismissed the rape case after prosecutors told him that they didn't have a case without the girl's testimony.

"People took sides," a 10th-grader at Huron High School tells the Detroit News. "Most of them lined up with him because it looked like he was going to go to jail for a relationship. People said she was lying that she got raped. It got pretty ugly. She lost a lot of friends." A Facebook page has been set up in her honor, with one teen writing: "RIP, Samantha Kelly. We love you." Kelly's mother screamed at Tarnopolski after his brief court appearance, and had to be restrained by relatives. "My daughter did not get any justice," she said. (Click here for another heartbreaking bullying suicide story.)

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