2 Teens Charged in Case of Girl Who Hanged Herself

Rehtaeh Parsons committed suicide after photo of alleged assault was circulated

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2013 10:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – It took nearly two years, but charges have been filed in Canada in the high-profile case of a teenage girl who hanged herself after an alleged sexual assault and subsequent cyberbullying. Police in Nova Scotia arrested two 18-year-old males on child pornography charges, reports CNN. The family of Rehtaeh Parsons says the then-15-year-old went to a booze-filled party in Halifax in November 2011 and was sexually assaulted by four teen boys. One took a photo, and the image soon was in wide circulation at Rehtaeh's school. She hanged herself this April.

The local police chief says no sexual assault charges were filed because "the available evidence did not meet the threshold," reports the Toronto Star. But he said cops had enough to charge one of the teens with creating child pornography and the other with distributing it. The case is reminiscent of the one involving high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio, in that "the hive mind of the Internet played an indispensable role here," writes Emily Bazelon at Slate. But considering that Rehtaeh's death resulted in child porn charges for non-consensual texting almost two years after the fact, "this case will be its own kind of watershed." Click for her full post.

In this file photo, a woman holds a photo of Rehtaeh Parsons at a vigil in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
In this file photo, a woman holds a photo of Rehtaeh Parsons at a vigil in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Andrew Vaughan)
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