The RCMP and Halifax Regional Police have concluded the investigation involving Rehtaeh Parsons and two men are facing charges.
New and credible information was brought forward to police in April.
The new information prompted investigators to reopen the investigation and examine the totality of the evidence which has resulted in charges being laid today.
Earlier today, officers with the RCMP/HRP Criminal Investigation Division arrested two men at their respective residences in HRM. Police have charged an 18-year-old male with two counts of Distribution of Child Pornography. A second male, age 18, has been charged with one count of Distribution of Child Pornography and one count of Making Child Pornography. The men have both been released on a promise to appear in Halifax Youth Court on August 15th, 2013.
‘We hope that today’s arrests help the community to heal. A young girl has died in what was a tragic set of circumstances. We all need to reflect on how we as a community can come together in Rehtaeh’s memory and see what we can do to work together to support our youth,’ said Chief Superintendent Roland Wells, Halifax District RCMP.
Police acknowledge there will be interest and speculation about the accused. Their names are not being released as they were young offenders at the time of the alleged incident. While people may feel they know the identity of the two accused, anyone who releases their names or other information that could identify them would be a breach under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and that person could face charges. Similarly, police will not tolerate vigilante actions against the accused.
‘As a father of three children, two of which are girls, I have felt personally impacted by the circumstances of this case. A young girl, who could easily have been my daughter, experienced what appears to be the harsh nature of a world of people wanting to do harm and using social media to do it. I cannot imagine the impact Rehtaeh’s death has had on her family and friends, nor do I expect that today’s charges will bring them all the answers they seek. It is our hope that this is a step forward in allowing our community to heal, said Chief Jean-Michel Blais, Halifax Regional Police.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the toll-free Kid’s Help Line at 1-800-668-6868 or the toll-free Suicide Prevention Line at 1-888-429-8167. Also please check out http://www.suicideprevention.ca and the list of warning signs at http://www.suicideprevention.ca/about-suicide/warning-signs/.