Two 18-year-old men face charges in the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, the Nova Scotia girl who took her own life after she was bullied online.

One was charged with two counts of distributing child pornography, and the other was charged with making and distributing child pornography.

Police said the evidence did not support sexual assault charges against the two.

They are due in youth court on Aug. 15. They cannot be identified because they were minors at the time of the alleged offences. 

Police arrested the pair at 8 a.m. AT at their respective homes following an investigation by the RCMP/Halifax Regional Police Criminal Investigation Division.

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On April 7, Rehtaeh Parsons was taken off life-support after attempting to take her own life a few days earlier. (Facebook)

According to Leah Parsons, Rehtaeh's mother, four boys sexually assaulted her daughter when she was 15. The Cole Harbour, N.S., teen was then said to have been mocked by classmates, enduring relentless harassment and humiliation after a photo of the attack was circulated at school and on social media.

On April 7, Rehtaeh was taken off life-support after attempting to take her own life a few days earlier.

Halifax police and RCMP decided to reopen the case in mid-April after her death, saying that new and credible information had been brought forward.

RCMP said Thursday's charges are based on new information and co-operation from someone within the investigation.

"We do not cultivate facts, we verify them. We must base our investigation on facts and evidence so they can withstand the rigorous court process," said Halifax police Chief Jean-Michel Blais.

The arrests come one day after the implementation of new, more strict legislation against cyber-bullying in Nova Scotia. The new legislation gives victims the ability to sue alleged cyberbullies or their parents, if those accused are minors.

"We hope that the new cyberbullying legislation and the charges laid today will send a strong message that this behaviour will not be tolerated," said Blais.

Police said they had never interviewed any of the four accused before Thursday. They said one of the boys came to the station once, but didn’t offer any information.

The initial investigation, concluded in November 2012, is going to be reviewed.

"We will co-operate fully in the review of this investigation," Blais said. "It is only through looking at ourselves, and how we do things, that we can improve and better serve our community."

Arrests brought relief

Leah Parsons told CBC News that police came to her house and told her of the arrests at 8:10 a.m. AT.

"I felt a little bit of relief, just to say, finally — like I hope — they keep saying they want to tell their side of the story, but they have never given a statement. The police have never spoken to them in all this time. So at least, here is your chance. Tell your side of the story," she said.

Parsons said she doesn't think there is a link between today's arrests and Wednesday's cyberbullying legislation.

"Today I am feeling better."

Rehtaeh’s father, Glen Canning, said the news is bittersweet.

"After everything we’ve been through, you’re almost in a place where you're not expecting anything at all and then all of a sudden it’s here. To hear those words, ‘We’ve made two arrests,’ I felt like crying, I felt like running," he said. "At the same time you feel sad because my daughter is never going to know that sense of justice. She’ll never know that."

"I will be able to say the right people cared enough to make changes. I will be able to say that people were held accountable for their actions. I will be able to say this is closed, but I will never be able to say justice was served in this case because it simply was not and it’s not something you can undo. She’s gone. My daughter is gone."

"She waited such a long time to hear that phone call I got today and it just came way too late for her."

PM says Criminal Code refinements coming

Prime Minister Stephen Harper responded to the arrest announcement during a news conference in New Brunswick on Thursday.

"As you know this is a terrible tragedy that has touched not only the Parsons family but I think all Canadians who have become familiar with what has transpired and the kind of risk this presents to all of our children," he said.

"I just wanted to say how pleased we are that progress is being made. I hope this will provide some measure of comfort to the family members."

Harper reiterated that the government is committed to making Criminal Code changes.

"The federal government, working with our provinces, remains committed to making refinements to enhancing our Criminal Code, strengthening the Criminal Code so that we can deal with these kinds of matters — that is a commitment we have made and one that we fully plan to move forward on," he said.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay expressed his thoughts on Twitter following news of the arrests.

"While police continue to work in search of justice, our thoughts are with Rehtaeh Parsons’ family, cyberbullying victims and their families."