A Michigan mother who lost her teenage daughter to suicide suffered another trauma after seeing the young man accused of raping her daughter go free.
Raw emotions erupted outside the courtroom on Thursday as the rape case against 18-year-old Joe Tarnopolski was dismissed. The alleged 14-year-old victim, Samantha Kelly, took her own life on Monday. Charges were dropped because the girl's death means there will be no victim testimony in the case.
Tarnopolski spoke only a few words as he walked out of the courtroom, saying, "It's sad it happened, but there's not much I can do," MyFoxDetriot reports.
For Kelly's mother, June Justice, watching the case be dismissed was like losing her daughter all over again. She says she is not satisfied with the court’s decision or Tarnopolski’s words, MyFoxDetroit reports.
"It should have never been dismissed. My daughter, who was forcibly made to have sex with an 18-year-old, and they won't do anything even after her death," Justice told MyFoxDetroit.
Kelly did give a statement to the court before she took her life, but the Wayne County prosecutor’s office said it cannot be used in court because it is considered hearsay.
The only thing that would have allowed prosecutors to make this case was Kelly.
"My daughter did not get any justice before this, and she (isn't) getting justice now," Justice told MyFoxDetroit.