Friday, November 12, 2010

Rape charges dropped after 14-year-old bullied girl committed suicide in Wayne County, Michigan

14 year-old rape victim's suicide in Michigan. Links HERE and HERE

Links to this story: Detroit Free Press Columnist
BY ROCHELLE RILEY
DETROIT FREE PRESS COLUMNIST       
"The most important thing isn't that a Huron Township mother let her barely teenage daughter
go on TV and say she was raped -- although that traumatic a disclosure is hard for any grown
woman to handle.

The most important thing isn't that a TV station would record a 14-year-old claiming she was raped -- although time was that the names of rape victims weren't allowed on TV or in newspapers. And for good reason.

No, the most important thing is that a 14-year-

old girl killed herself. She is dead. Gone before

her Sweet 16 birthday. Gone before senior prom

and graduation and dreams of college. And the

reason she killed herself came way before she

was
 taunted and bullied
to death at her school.

It happened before the TV appearance with her

mother, which reportedly enraged some

knuckleheaded teens who then made her life

miserable.
No, the reason she killed herself is because an

18-year-old neighbor who goes to the same

high school broke the law.
In Michigan, it is illegal to have sex with a 14-

year-old girl. There are no extenuating

circumstances. There are no ways for a minor to

consent. It is illegal -- for a reason. Fourteen-

year-olds cannot make decisions about sex.

They are too damn young.

So why did Joseph Tarnopolski, who is legally a

man, walk out of a courtroom, charges

dismissed? Because the prosecutors were

cowards who refused to enforce the law. And

that is what's wrong with Michigan's law, which

was designed to protect young girls, deter older

boys and hopefully decrease the pregnancy and

abortion rates.
Tarnopolski confessed in an interview with

police. He said he had sex with the 14-year-old.

He should not be excused or slapped on the

wrist because a frightened teen, led by her

mother's need for publicity, gave prosecutors

one story and TV reporters another. Who knows

what pressure she may have been under to say,

what? Who knows who pushed her to reveal such

detail.

Doesn't matter. The law doesn't need a confused,

barely teenage girl to charge a man with rape.

The law does it for her.

The intent at the time the law was passed was so

strong that it's a felony punishable by up to 15

years in prison and 25 years on Michigan's public

sex offender list. That's serious.

Oh, and there is one more crime that happened in

this case, besides a law being ignored. It is a

crime that has gotten an increasing amount of

attention in recent months, particularly involving

gay teens.

Bullying.


Bullying is a hate crime.
This is 2010, and whispers in the cafeteria have

been replaced by written posts on hundreds of

Web sites that are connected to hundreds of

other Web sites, a network that can transform a

whisper into universal humiliation.

There ought to be a law against bullying. Oh,

wait. There is.A year ago, President Barack Obama signed a law

making it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. That doesn't go far enough. The law should be amended to make it a crime to assault individuals because they are human. And there should be a law to protect 14-year-old girls from making decisions about sex. Oh, wait! There is. It's just not always enforced.

I haven't recounted details in the case of the

Huron Township 14-year-old who hanged

herself after finding life too hard to bear. I am

not using her name. There are already too many

lurid details and wrong conversations that teens

are having about something as serious as sex.
Our kids are mating like rabbits and we think

there's nothing to be done because it's the times,

it's uncool to complain or because abortions are

a dime a dozen.

Shame on us.


Because what matters most is that a girl is dead,

and if we no longer plan to use the law to deter

underage sex, then we may as well take the law

off the books. And that would be a damn shame,

too."    


This column many be found HERE: http://www.freep.com/article/20101112/COL10/11120373/1008/NEWS06/Teens-suicide-in-Huron-Township-is-simply-tragic

Another here: http://www.modernmom.com/hottopic/2010/nov/12/14-year-old-samantha-kelly-commits-suicide-after-b/

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment