TIPPECANOE COUNTY — More than three years after the case was opened, a Tippecanoe County judge has dismissed the case against Kristine Barnett.
Barnett was charged with eight counts of neglect after she and her ex-husband Michael Barnett allegedly neglected their adopted daughter Natalia, who came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2010.
In October 2022, Michael Barnett was acquitted.
In 2012, the Barnetts, who have other children and are now divorced, had Natalia's age changed in Marion County Probate Court from her real age of eight to 22 and told the girl to say she was 22 if anyone asked.
Court documents claim the pair rented an apartment for Natalia in Lafayette in 2013 and left her there, alone, while they moved out of the county with the rest of the family.
Michael told detectives that his wife had told the child to tell others that she "looks young" but was actually 22, according to court documents.
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In the motion to dismiss, it states the belief is there is "insufficient evidence at trial to prove the charges in this cause beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Barnett's attorney Mark Nicholson released the following statement to WRTV.
"We don't believe the charges should have ever been filed. But we are glad they were dismissed!"